Sunday, January 31, 2016

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 1/17 - 1/30

Daisy's Book Haul

-Night Study by Maria V. Snyder: I'm starting this book next, because holy wow I totally need to know what happens next!! So much love for Maria V. Snyder and particularly her books about Yelena!
-Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton: I've heard many amazing things about this so I'm excited to start it soonish :)
-My American Duchess by Eloisa James: Eloisa James knows how to write historical romance, I am always down for one of her books!
-Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner: So I LOVED the first book in this series and I really need to catch up and read this last one, cause the beauties are just sitting on my shelf.
-The Godless by Ben Peek: I think this book came up on my radar because one of my friends added it on Goodreads, turned out to be a total bargain on Amazon, so I ordered it :)
-The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman: because always YES to a new release by Alison Goodman!
-Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira: this sounds UBER CUTE! So I need it. NOW.
-The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand: I've heard good things about this and then the price dropped a LOT on Amazon and I just clicked order.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Bridget Reviews THE PASSENGER by Lisa Lutz

The Passenger - Lisa Lutz
Published: March 1, 2016 (upcoming) by Simon & Schuster
Source: ARC
Rating: 4 Stars

When Tanya Dubois discovers her husband dead on the floor of their home, she doesn’t cry, doesn’t call the police, and doesn’t stick around. 48 hours later, she’s in a new town with a new name, new IDs, new hair color. And this isn’t the first time.

But then she meets Blue, who looks almost as hunted as Tanya feels. After committing the unthinkable, the two women form an uneasy alliance—but Tanya can’t help but wonder about Blue’s motives…

When I first picked this up, I definitely anticipated a “Catch Me If You Can” spy-type novel. The Passenger is not that; instead, it’s the story of an average woman, like you or me, trapped by impossible circumstances into running for her life. She’s been running for a decade, and now it’s all she knows.

Naturally, you don’t find out the full story—why Tanya is running—until the end. You can pick up bits and pieces along the way, though, and by the time I got the entire story, the only things I hadn’t pretty much figured out were the details. I don’t mean to say it was predictable, necessarily; the hints and vague exposition seemed pretty deliberate, and I enjoyed being able to slowly put the pieces together rather than getting to the end and needing it spelled out for me (which happens more than I would like to admit!).

The prose is spare, but it gets the job done, and drives home the point that Tanya—or Sonia, or Emma, or Amelia, or whatever name she’s currently going by—is focused entirely on doing what it takes to survive. There’s no time for long winded, flowery descriptions of her surroundings or her emotions when her money is running out and she needs to find shelter. Tanya keeps her readers at arms length (which, when you find out her history, is more than understandable).

In some ways, this style was refreshing: it told me everything I needed to know without going into unnecessary or confusing detail. It was very straightforward, which I can definitely appreciate. On the other hand, I live in the details; I like intimate stories, and I often have little patience for narrators keeping me at arms length. In some spots, it also almost felt like an outline of a story, as if Lutz was writing brief storyline notes and planned to go back and fill them in later. This didn’t happen often, but when several days or a week passed in the span of a page, it did take me out of the experience a little bit.

The truly important thing to know about this book is that it took me a mere five hours to read, so if you’re looking for something that’s going to grab you and not let go, The Passenger is it!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Lori Talks The Biggest Book Purge of All

I've written numerous times in the past about being completely overwhelmed by the number of books I own.  I've written about doing book purges in the past.  And I've written about doing the KonMari method of clearing out crap.  I got rid of a good 300 books the first go around.  I had so much crap that I actually did the KonMari method a second time to get rid of even more.  Except the second time sort of failed because I still haven't taken the stuff to a place to actually get rid of it...But I won't focus on that.  The stuff has been separated from the main part of my stuff, which is the goal, and when I finally do dispose of the stuff, I will be rid of another 50 plus books.

Anyway, the title of the post is "Biggest Book Purge of All."  I've mentioned getting rid of a good 350 books, which is pretty extreme, so how could I get rid of even more?  I moved.

When I moved back in November, I made the conscious decision to limit the amount of stuff I brought so that I could streamline my life.  I've followed an internet friend's decision of limiting her wardrobe to mostly black, white, and gray because it all goes together and totally streamlines my mornings.  I decided to not bring a bunch of kitchen gadgets because I don't have much time to cook and I hate having a lot of items I rarely, if ever, use just lying around.  We don't keep a ton of food in our fridge or cabinets and the food we buy actually gets eaten instead of becoming a science project!  I didn't bring a bunch of movies because I don't have time to watch movies.  Etc.

I also made the decision to not bring a bunch of books.  I really haven't looked back, to be honest.  I don't spend a lot of my reading time wishing I had this book or that book on hand.  I brought two book cases.  They are comfortably full (as opposed to being crammed full or having piles of books on the floor without a home).  When I have the time and inclination to read, I can quickly find something, instead of spending huge amounts of time having an existential crisis about what I should read next.

The two book cases aren't huge by any means, but they hold the books I want to be reading.  I love the idea that the books we buy are an entryway into who we aspire to be at a given time.  I'm old enough to be comfortable enough to just take myself as I am and not aspire to be too much else or someone vastly different from who I really am.  That's not to say I don't still try to get outside my comfort zones (I recently bought two Philip K. Dick books), but I'm not interested in reading the complete history of every subject I encounter or buying an author's complete backlist.

Without all of the book clutter, I feel like I can take things as they come.  I can read and enjoy myself, or I can watch TV and enjoy myself--all without feeling guilty about what I am or am not reading.  That kind of freedom is priceless.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Top Ten Books We're Dying to Reread (But We Keep Reading New Books Instead)

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

This week is FREEEBIE WEEK! *jazz hands* We chose to talk about 10 books we are dying to reread but...keep putting off because NEW BOOKS WOO.

One of the perils of book blogging is that, thanks to constantly feeling obligated to keep up the flow of new reviews, it's almost impossible to squeeze in a reread when you have so many unread books on your shelf. Here are a few books that your favorite broke bloggers are dying to reread, but just haven't had a chance to yet!

Bridget's Picks

1. The Magicians - Lev Grossman. My husband, after a year-plus of me annoying him, has finally read the first book in this series. Naturally, it made me want to snatch the book out of his hands and read it again myself, but I didn't, because I'm a nice person.

2. The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman. Shortly after reading this for the first time, I let a friend of mine borrow it...and I haven't seen it since. This actually isn't a bad thing, because that same friend doesn't still have it—she's passed it on to several others and I'm honestly not quite sure where it is at the moment, but everyone who has read it has loved it. But I do want it back!!

3. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn. I actually just got this one back from my mom, who made it about 3/4 of the way through before putting it down for a year and making me tell her the ending. In the meantime, I've read her other novels at least twice each. Gone Girl is sitting on my kitchen counter and it's calling my name, but so are all the other books I got for Christmas and my birthday and at BEA...

Jamie's Picks


4. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath: This used to be one of my favorite books in high school and college and I haven't read it since! Curious to see how it holds up!!

5. On the Road by Jack Kerouac: Again, another high school/college fave book but I want to check it out again now that I'm 30 to see if I can say that it's still a fave.

6. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: To be honest, I'd love to revisit both Fangirl and Eleanor & Park because I loved them both so much and I'm just craving a reread. They are just two favorites that deserve to be reread!

7. Where She Went by Gayle Forman: I reread If I Stay last year and this year hope to reread Where She Went because it's honestly one of my favorite books ever!

Lori's Picks

8. The Secret History by Donna Tartt:  I flew through this book when I first read it!  It was a great read, but now that I know what happens, I don't know if I can read it again.  So, not only would I like to read this one again, I want to forget what I know!

9. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller: I read this one my senior year of high school and LOVED it. I've been wanting to reread it ever since. May have to make time soon.

10. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: I was really trying to not include this one, but the truth of the matter is that I miss this book. It was my absolute favorite, but I haven't read it since high school.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Julia Reviews Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare

Title/Author: Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare
Publisher/Year Published: 2015 by Avon
How I got this book: I bought it from B&N when it was on an eBook sale
Why I read this book: I liked the last Dare book I read, and it was a good price.
Rating: 4 stars

It's been awhile since I was able to sit and just read. The holidays really take all the time away from my reading. But as I was stuck on a five hour cross country plane ride, I was sucked in to a tale of castles, scarred heroes and tenacious heroines. 

Romancing the Duke is the first in Tessa Dare's new Castle's Ever After series. First we meet our heroine, Izzy. She is literally almost penniless as her father has just died, leaving her nothing, when she gets a letter talking about an inheritance from a man whom her father knew when she was younger. She figures maybe she gets a hundred pounds if she is lucky, but low and behold she gets a castle. A castle that the current owner, an injured in a way I don't want to say because it's spoils the fun, duke. 

They have to figure out how to handle who actually owns the castle while learning to get along with each other. And all the romance explodes from there. 

I enjoyed this story. It was sort of a play on the beauty and the beast story, with a dash of the impoverished maiden thrown in, but it didn't feel like it was an overused trope. Dare always writes with a comedic ease that makes the pages fly by. She reminds me of Julia Quinn in her earlier days. 

The characters are full of life and pop off the page. The romance between the leads is wonderful in it's tension and heat.  Overall this was just a great book to read on my flight. It kept me engaged and entertained. 

I would totally recommend it for people who are interested in historical romance. There hasn't been much in that genre of romance lately, but this is a great start to a series that I will definitely be continuing. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Julia's Top Ten Books I've Recently Added To My TBR

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

Top Ten Books I've Recently Added To My TBR 

Hey everyone. Julia here! This topic was so much fun! It is inspired by Jamie's New To The Queue posts so go check out those. I decided just to do a list with a summary of things I have recently added to my queue. I didn't give an explanation, because it's usually one of the following reasons. 1) The description grabbed me or 2)It's a book in a series I am reading. So enjoy! I can't wait to hop through your links and find more books to add!

1. Duke of My Heart by Kelly Bowen

"Captain Maximus Harcourt's returned home from his latest voyage to find a naked earl—quite inconveniently deceased—tied to his missing sister's bed. Now he's at the mercy of the captivating Miss Ivory Moore, known throughout London for smoothing over the most dire of scandals. Miss Moore treats the crisis as though it were no more serious than a cup of spilt tea on an expensive rug. Max has never in all his life met a woman with such nerve. Her dark eyes are too wide, her mouth is too full, her cheekbones too sharp. Yet together, she's somehow...flawless. It's just like his love for her, imperfect, unexpected—yet absolutely true."

2. And I Darken by Kiersten White

"No 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 and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. 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."

3. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

"Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years. At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed."

4. The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Long

"Rumor has it she broke Lyon Redmond’s heart. But while many a man has since wooed the dazzling Olivia Eversea, none has ever won her—which is why jaws drop when she suddenly accepts a viscount’s proposal. Now London waits with bated breath for the wedding of a decade…and wagers on the return of an heir. It was instant and irresistible, forbidden...and unforgettable. And Lyon—now a driven, dangerous, infinitely devastating man—decides it’s time for a reckoning. As the day of her wedding races toward them, Lyon and Olivia will decide whether their love is a curse destined to tear their families part...or the stuff of which legends are made."

5. Lumière by Jacqueline E. Garlick

"After an unexplained flash shatters her world, seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth sets out to find the Illuminator, her father’s prized invention. With it, she hopes to cure herself of her debilitating seizures before Professor Smrt—her father’s arch nemesis—discovers her secret and locks her away. Pursued by Smrt, Eyelet locates the Illuminator only to see it whisked away. She follows the thief into the world of the unknown, compelled not only by her quest but by the allure of the stranger—Urlick Babbit—who harbors secrets of his own. Together, they endure deadly Vapours and criminal-infested woods in pursuit of the same prize, only to discover the miracle machine they hoped would solve their problems may in fact be their biggest problem of all."

6. The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker 

"Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop. Struggling to make their way in 1899 New York, the Golem and the Jinni try to fit in with their immigrant neighbors while masking their true selves. Meeting by chance, they become unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures, until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful menace will soon bring the Golem and the Jinni together again, threatening their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice."

7. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith 

"When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality. With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…"

8. Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey

"Anna was living a normal life. She was ambitious and worked hard; she had just bought an apartment; she was falling in love. But then she started to develop worrying symptoms: her face felt like it was burning whenever she was in front of the computer. Soon this progressed to an intolerance of fluorescent light, then of sunlight itself. The reaction soon spread to her entire body. Now, when her symptoms are at their worst, she must spend months on end in a blacked-out room, losing herself in audio books and elaborate word games in an attempt to ward off despair. It was during this period she began to write this book."

9. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

"Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood. The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her. But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose."

10. Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart

"Constance Kopp doesn’t quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding fifteen years ago. One day a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family — and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared."

Tell us what books you've added to Mount TBR lately!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Lauren Reviews The Cage by Megan Shepherd

The Cage by Megan Shepherd
Published: May 2015 by Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4 Stars

When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn't know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments - tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures - all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn't alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora's past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer - a handsome young guard called Cassian - appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren't from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo - where the exhibits are humans.

As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer - though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so... what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?

I fell in love with this book just reading the summary, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when the book followed through. Cora was constantly on the go - both mentally and physically. She never let her guard down, even when everyone else pressured her to just give in. When your entire life has been altered drastically and everything you know is gone, wouldn't you feel the need to fit in with those around you who are in the exact same situation? Cora will not be told what to do or what to think, even by a powerful, slightly intimidating alien named Cassian. 

Cassian may be another species who does as he's told and follows orders, but he still has some underlying human traits. I found him to be quite the mystery in the beginning. I clung to the hope of the author diving deeper into his personality and was definitely rewarded. This is a must have novel for anyone who enjoys science fiction with a few drops of mystery.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 1/3 - 1/16

Daisy's Book Haul

-Truthwitch by Susan Dennard: YES EXCITEMENT!! I've already started reading this, hope it's as awesome as everyone keeps telling me!
-The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine: This sounds so, SO good, I'm always in for another fantasy series :)
-Passenger by Alexandra Bracken: I loved Alexandra Bracken's The Darkest Mind series, so I'm really excited about this one!
-The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean: Sarah MacLean is one of my favourite historical romance authors, obviously I needed to get this!
-Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas: I've heard so many good things about this book and it finally needs to be read :)

My book club is awesome and we do a Secret Santa gift exchange :) My lovely friend Debby gave me these pretties, THANK YOU! <3: -Every Breath by Ellie Marney: After hearing Debby rave about this, I'm excited to read it and I'm hoping to ship the ship :)
-Landry Park by Bethany Hagen: Downton Abbey meets WHATEVER, obviously I'm in.
-The Crystal Heart by Sophie Masson: I've been wanting this for a LONG time and now it's finally mine, YAYYY! :D

My wonderful friend Mel decided to cull her bookshelf en I was lucky to get these from her, thanks lovely!:
-The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings: I've been meaning to read this book forever! This'll give me that push :)
-Wild Hearts by Jessica Burkhart: this looks very cute, as does this whole If Only series :)
-Team Human by Sarah Rees Brennan and Justine Larbalestier: these two authors teaming up to co-write a book makes it something I should be reading!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Daisy Talks About Venturing Into the World of Manga

So, you guys remember how our Jana asked for YA manga recommendations? I basically stalked that post because I'd been interested in starting to read manga myself, but had zero clues as to where to start and which series should definitely be on my list.
And you guys were AWESOME! I added a decent amount of manga series to my TBR list and then blissfully dived in. And I'm loving it! The ones I've read so far have been a refreshing change from the usual books I read, the storylines are quick, it's fun and I love having a visual along with the dialogue.

Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba
I've read the first two volumes and I'm REALLY enjoying this! I love the worldbuilding and seeing how Light uses the notebook, it's very intriguing! Obviously it's a little darker as it deals with a Death Note, but it's also funny and it makes me think about what it would be like to actually have the power over life and death at your fingertips, there are a lot of moral dilemma's attached to it.

Maid-sama! by Hiro Fujiwara
This series came highly recommended by my friend Debby @ Snuggly Oranges and it is SO MUCH FUN! It's light and quirky and I love Misaki in all her I am woman, hear me roar-ness and she definitely is a force to be reckoned with! I love the idea of a maid café and it's fun to see Misaki navigate everything that comes with working there. And then there's Usui. And I totally ship it.
It's a lucky coincidence that my interest in this series developed at a time when they're re-releasing the volumes, so YAY!

The Demon Prince of Momochi House by Aya Shouoto
I came across this one in an Edelweiss catalog and the main thing that attracted me to it in the first place are the beings that are on the back, which you sadly can't see on the cover, but they remind me of Pokemon. And I LOVE Pokemon, I used to watch it religiously and have spend hours and hours playing the games, and the little things on the back just looked SO CUTE. So yeah, I totally bought the first volume and it was really fun! There's a lot of build-up and then the first volume leaves us with a cliffhanger that makes me itch to read the next one, which should happen soon cause it's sitting on my shelf :)

So basically what I'm saying is THANK YOU for all your enthusiastic recommendations and I'll definitely be reading more manga this year. Also, if you have more recommendations for me, please feel free to tell me, cause I love adding this to my TBR pile :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Top Ten 2015 Releases We Meant To Get To But Didn't

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

Today is that shame list sort of day! We had REALLY good intention to get to these! THIS YEAR. WE WILL.

Daisy's Picks

I've been meaning to dive more into both graphic novels and manga and a female Thor is just not something I'm able to resist. Now I only have to find time to actually pick it up...

2. Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
People have been RAVING about this and it makes me both very much want to pick it up and a bit scared of it...

3. The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
I hear this is awesome. I also have it staring at me from my shelf. I should really read this soon...

Bridget's Picks

4. Find Me by Laura van den Berg
A mysterious Alzheimer’s-like illness sweeps the nation, and one woman, finding herself immune, admits herself to a hospital meant to study the survivors. Laura van den Berg’s debut novel sounds incredibly fascinating. Released: February 17, 2015. I own this, I just haven't gotten to it yet.

5. Touch by Claire North
As he’s dying—as he’s being murdered—Kepler reaches out to his killer in one last bid for mercy. He touches the killer’s hand, and suddenly he’s looking down at his own dying body. Kepler has discovered an incredible talent: he can jump from body to body, living in different hosts and experiencing the world through their eyes. Released: February 24, 2015. Ditto above. I'm writing this on Sunday and I had plans to start this over the weekend, so here's hoping that by the time this post goes live I've started reading!

Jamie's Picks 

This wasn't one I was anticipating for 2016 but it showed up randomly in the mailbox and I read the summary and I was like YES YES YES I need to read this. I really mean to get to it in the Fall but then I got a dog and I stopped reading very much for a couple months. PRIORITY FOR THIS YEAR. It looks like such a unique book and story!

This was one of my priority/most anticipated for 2015 and I FAILED because again, around the time I was planning to read it, I adopted our dog Finn and reading fell to the wayside for a couple months! I cannot wait to read this soon!

Lauren's Picks

Why haven't I started this? Vicious by Schwab is now one of my absolute favorites! This one will definitely be read ASAP!

I'm pretty sure I bought this pretty close to it's release date. So why haven't I read it yet? Life... it just gets in the way. 

I absolutely loved Ready Player One. I was sooooo excited when he released another novel. I can't wait to dive into these pages!


Tell us what books YOU meant to get to in 2015 but didn't!!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Jamie Talks Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Book #1 in the Witchlands series
Genre: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Rating: 5 stars

What It's About: Safi and Iseult are best friends live in a world where some people are born with a witchery that gives them a special skill. Iseult is a Threadwitch which makes her see invisible bonds between people. Safi is a Truthwitch, which is super rare, and she can tell the difference between the truth and a lie. Iseult, whose heritage makes her not always welcomed where they live, and Safi have worked hard to keep that a secret because if any of the three empires caught wind of it they'd want to scoop Safi up and use her for their purposes against the others.  They just want to live free away from all the stuff they are fighting against and the things people want them to be/not be especially as war is on the mind of the empires. Their plan is screwed up when people find out their secrets and they are pulled into things they don't want to be in and they find themselves on the run aboard Prince Merik's ship with his crew with the likes of nobility and dangerous Bloodwitches chasing after them.

If you follow me in any capacity on the interwebs (especially on Twitter) you know that my most anticipated book of 2016 was Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (you should also totally read her debut series!). I was lucky enough to pick up a copy at the Book Expo of America this past June and I devoured it immediately upon returning home. And I have to say....I'm 6 months since my first read of the book and pretty much every month since I just had this very strong urge to reread it already. And I'm not a person who feels that way often. THANK GOD I HAVE MY FINISHED COPY BECAUSE A REREAD IS A HAPPENING.

I think Truthwitch is perfect for people who have been reading high fantasy for 10 years+ and crave some of those classic high fantasy type stories just as much as it is also perfect for readers who are newer to the genre. There's an elaborate world and magic system (which is incredibly enthralling and unique) and, while I found it a little slower for me to get REALLY into the world in the first 50-75 pages or so, I could NOT put it down -- I love the world, the magic, the action, the emotions, the struggle and most importantly the AMAZING characters. I'm honestly still in awe of how truly incredible this book is.

So let's break it down shall we:

1. The world and magic system Susan weaves is incredible: I was so fascinated by all the different witcheries and magic! I loved learning more about how it all worked and specifically how all the witcheries were rooted within the elements. We've got Windwitches, Truthwitches, Threadwitches, Bloodwitches and more! As I said, it took me a little bit to get my bearings with it all in the first 75 pages but once you do it’s like so absorbing and you will not want to come up for air. True story..I didn't.

2. Truly unforgettable characters: I love the main characters so much it's probably borderline a problem. I love books where I can 100% feel the characters struggles and emotions. This was entirely one of those kinds of books. These characters are all fighting for something or really grappling with something big in their life and you can FEEL it. You understand it. They are just characters who have so much heart. They are so incredibly complex and you see that in their individual pursuits as well as the ones that they end up sharing. You can feel the conflict to protect themselves but also to work together. I really loved how well that was clear when Safi and Iseult meet up with Prince Merik and his crew. They all have different goals and things they are pressing matters and I could feel that tension pushing and pulling them in their actions. Even the baddies are compelling as much as the people you are rooting for!

3. Badass ladies abound: What I loved about Truthwitch is how badass all the ladies are in this book -- the main ladies and the side characters alike. And it's not all physical shows of badassery -- they are smart and brave and cunning. I loved seeing all sorts of badassery represented because there were some seriously inspiring ladies.

4. FRIENDSHIP FEELS: This book is just rooted in friendship. It's a friendship story...nay...really it's #friendshipgoals. I'm serious though. I love good, solid friendships and this book had a really great friendship in Safi and Iseult as well as Prince Merik and Kullen. The friendships were real and honest and they made me quite emotional at times as you saw the pure love that flowed between each pair.

5. SO MUCH ACTION I CAN'T EVEN: SO MUCH GOES DOWN. SO MUCH. I don't want to give any of it away but there were so many scenes that made me flip out/gasp/sit straight up from my lounging position/die.

In short: If you call yourself a fan of high fantasy in any capacity, this needs to be on your priority list for this 2016! It's a must read filled with a compelling world and magic system and characters whose journey will make you crave a reread as soon as you put it down.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Top Ten Bookish Resolutions We Have For 2016

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!
We decided to share our bookish resolutions this week!

Daisy's Picks

1. Read my own books: I mean, I LOVE that I can request and get approved for egalleys, but I'm completely neglecting the shiny books on my shelves that I or other awesome people pushed money at to get on said shelves, which is sad. Very sad. The books are feeling sad and neglected and I want to make them and myself happy.

2. Get the number of books on various lists down: Particularly the list of series that I own completed but haven't started yet and the series that I need to either continue or finish. I have this irrational fear of finishing series and I really need to get it together and keep up with the series that I loved the first book of, because with some it's been years and I've forgotten so much of the story and it just needs to happen.

3. Non-bookish: fold the laundry more often: I majorly fail at this. And since I now have a lovely lady who cleans my house, I should be a bit better about keeping it tidy and adult better. Which means clean clothes need to go IN the closet and not lounge around on a chair until I just wear them again because it's easier than folding them.

Jamie's Picks

4. Finish the Harry Potter series: I read book 1 last year and then I read book 2 and 3 in the past couple months so I would really like to keep GOING!

5. Rid myself of piles of books: I've got more than enough book shelves and I still have piles. I need to cull enough to get rid of the piles that have taken over my apartment!!

6. Return my library books on time: NO SERIOUSLY. I am always the worst at this but this year I feel like I paid A LOT in library fines. It's a lot of laziness (I just want to get home after work and not go drop them off) and also because I have hopes I will read them all.

Jana's Picks 

7. I resolve, in 2016, to read what I love and not feel pressured by numbers or what's popular right now or what's releasing soon. I want reading to be about me again.

8.  I resolve to not feel bad when I see others reading WAY more books than I do. I'm a slow reader because I love to savor books and think about them. And that's ok!

  Julia's Picks

9. I resolve to actually read this year. Last year was the least I've read in a long time. My reading time was replaced with streaming time. I really miss the metal adventures though so I want to read. 

10.  I resolve to write more reviews, either on here or for myself. I got very lax with reading but also tracking what I did read last year. It makes it really hard to look back and see what was read, what trends I'm leaning towards, stuff like that. But writing reviews or even short notes really helps when reading a series and the next book doesn't come out for years. So I want to do that again :)

Tell us your book related goals for 2016!

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