Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Title: This Savage Song
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication date: June 7, 2016
Genre: YA, paranormal, dystopian
Pages: 431
Series: Monsters of Verity #1
1. This Savage Song
2. Our Dark Duet

There’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.

I loved the world that Victoria created in this story. Monsters created from acts of violence and tainting people’s soul’s red – SO good. It took me a while to realize that it was a dystopian world, but it’s not even that important to the story. What is important is the fragility of the truce between North City and South City, the constant fear in which people live from the city’s monsters. It was all written and described perfectly and I absolutely love Verity (but please don’t ask me to move there).

I think I have a weakness for emotionally vulnerable male characters these days. It happened with the last book and it happened with this one, too. August is by no means a vulnerable character – he’s literally one of the most feared monsters in Verity – but he has this innocence about him. He just wants to have a family and keep people safe and avoid war breaking out between North City and South City. He wants to be good for himself and for the world. August consistently pulled on my heartstrings in this book.

On the other side, there’s Kate Harker. She’s sharp and pointy and wants to be just like dear old Dad (who manipulates all of North City using fear). She tries to be tough so he’ll welcome her home and love her, but her humanity always manages to filter through and make her a better person than him. I didn’t really like her, but I think that’s okay. Kate isn’t a girl who cares if she’s liked or not, she just wants the truth.

I will definitely be picking up Our Dark Duet soon to see what’s coming next for the city – and the monsters – of Verity.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

September 2017 Releases

I'm a little late to this party, but apparently it takes a while to get back into the blogging world when you've been gone for the better part of 5 years!

However, I did want to showcase the books that are coming out (or have come out already) in September 2017 that I'm really looking forward to.

Links will take you to Goodreads.

September 1st, 2017

September 5, 2017

September 12, 2017

September 26, 2017

What September 2017 releases are you looking forward to the most? Click through using the affiliate links on my sidebar to preorder or buy them and help out At Home Between the Pages at the same time!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Review: The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

Title: The Shadow Queen
Author: C.J. Redwine
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Publication date: February 16, 2016
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling
Pages: 387
Series: Ravenspire #1
1. The Shadow Queen
2. The Wish Granter (February 14, 2017)
3. The Traitor Prince (expected pub February 13, 2018)
4. Untitled
Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.
From Goodreads

I don’t know how I missed it when I first read the synopsis, but I did not realize that this story had dragons in it. I’m not against dragons, I was just a bit skeptical when they came up in the story when I wasn’t expecting it. But I think it added an awesome element to the story and know it wouldn’t have worked without.

Lorelai is an amazing, strong lead character. She has powerful magic and, although she is afraid of it in the beginning, becomes confident and sure of herself and who she wants to be. She has to overcome a lot of emotional, mental, and physical barriers in her quest, but her heart is so strong and she knows what she must be done to be the queen that Ravenspire needs and deserves.

The rest of the characters in this story are really great as well, from the ones who are only in the story for a while, to the ones who share Lorelai’s journey with her. Kol is the new King of Eldr and he’s doing the best he can to save his kingdom from the ogres that are moving closer and closer to his home. He’s such a tortured and tragic character and I loved that about him. I loved Leo, Lorelai’s little brother who she’d do anything to protect, and Gabril, her father-figure who raised them when they had to flee the castle. And then there's Kol’s motley group of Eldrians who would do anything for him because he’s their king, but more importantly, he’s their friend.

Although this is the first book in the Ravenspire series, the books are actually all stand-alone novels. They all occur in the same world, but they’re all different fairy-tale retellings. The Shadow Queen is a retelling of Snow White, while The Wish Granter is based off of Rumpelstiltskin, and The Traitor Prince is inspired by an old Arabian tale called The False Prince. (Thank goodness for Goodreads or I wouldn’t have that info!) I haven’t decided if I’m going to read any more of the books in the collection, but I do know that I like C.J. Redwine’s writing (I’ve also read her entire Defiance series), so I wouldn’t be surprised if it “appeared” in my TBR pile in the near future.

Buy it here:
(Affiliate links)

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Chapters/Indigo Sales (1)

I love visiting the book store and checking out the sales. Chapters/Indigo has awesome sales and I've decided to collect a list of them for you to check out! The sales can be found both in store and online. Happy shopping!

Clicking on the cover will bring you to the Chapters/Indigo page. These are affiliate links.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Judging a Book by Its Cover (17)

I do Judging a Book by Its Cover randomly, when I collect several book covers that I think are worthy of being judged as awesome! You can see all my Judging a Book by Its Cover posts here.

I know some of these covers may have been released a while ago, but I hope you see something new that catches your eye!

Links will take you to Goodreads.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert | January 30, 2018
Everless by Sara Holland | January 2nd, 2018

What do you think of these covers? Which early 2018 releases are you anxiously anticipating? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

Title: The Diabolic
Author: S.J. Kincaid
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication date: November 1st, 2016
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi
Pages: 416
Series: The Diabolic #1
1. The Diabolic
2. The Empress (expected pub October 31, 2017)
3. Untitled
Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator's daughter, Sidonia. There's no one Nemesis wouldn't kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy's most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she's been told she doesn't have - humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire...

I really enjoyed this book and had trouble putting it down! It was awesome following Nemesis’s story and watching her learn and grow as she tried to fill Sidonia’s shoes under the watchful eye of the Emperor.

Nemesis wasn’t created to feel and have opinions. But when she’s living at the Chrysanthemum with the Royal family, she realizes that she can’t pretend to be a human without some side effects, such as blooming feelings and strong opinions. When tragedy strikes, Nemesis has to team up with some unlikely characters to fulfill her purpose and survive in the Emperor’s world.

All the characters have been well thought-out and are unique in their own ways. Nemesis is a really strong lead female; she’s the picture of physical strength and soon begins to learn about morality and what makes a good person. I think my favourite character was Tyrus, the Emperor’s nephew. He’s next in line for the throne and spends most the book playing a dangerous political game. But what I liked best about him was the way he never judged Nemesis because she was a Diabolic, which is basically the equivalent to an animal in the eyes of the humans.

Apparently this book was originally published as a stand-alone, but now it has 2 sequels upcoming. As much as I’m excited to read more about Nemesis’s story, it was really well done as a stand-alone and I also would’ve been happy to have it end after one book. Now, all I can hope is that the sequels live up to my high expectations!

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I'm Back!

Hello book blogging world!

As you may have noticed, my blog has a brand spanking new theme and layout and no more broken links and outdated content! Woo! I have decided to try and jump back into the book blogging world. And with that comes the new look!

A little about where I'm at in life right now:

After living and working in Melbourne, Australia for 4 and a half years, I decided to move back to Ottawa, Canada to be closer to my family and try to get some teaching work in my hometown. Since my move in January 2017, I've done some tutoring and started working as a supply teacher in some local schools. Now, I'm ready for the new school year to start so I can begin networking and looking for a more permanent teaching role here in Ottawa.

Since I'm supply teaching, and it's summer (granted it's almost over), I have more time on my hands and think my book blogging hobby could use some dusting off. You'll have to bear with me though, I haven't written much of anything in years so I could be a bit rusty to start out with. But I'm excited to get back into it!

Crossing my fingers for a miraculous comeback!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Public Service Announcement

I don't often talk about my personal life on my book blog, but with the way I've neglected this blog, I feel an explanation is needed. Even though I'm 95% sure no one really followed/follows my blog avidly. But anyway...

My life has changed a lot in the last year and a half or so, to which I attribute my lack of blogging.

In August 2012, I moved from Canada to Australia to gain some experience teaching and to travel and see more of the world. I started doing substitute teaching right away and worked most days until the end of November when I was offered a full time position, starting in January 2013. (Reminder that the school year here goes from February to December.)

It was my first time having my own class. My first contract teaching job. And it was in a special needs school, something in which I didn't have much experience. Needless to say, the job enveloped my life. It was my first year teaching and I had a lot of learning and work to do to really set myself up as a teacher with my own class. I didn't have any time for blogging anymore. Heck, I hardly had any time for reading. I read half the amount of books I'd usually read in a year. It became a reality that book blogging was in the past for me.

Fast-forward a year. I'm not in my second year of teaching at the same school. I have some experience teaching. I know (more-or-less) what I'm doing and what's expected of me. I don't need to stress as much about doing my job right, because I know I can do it right.

That being said, I'm making a bigger effort to take time to read for pleasure. I don't know if this will lead me back to book blogging, but I hope so. I love reading. I love the book community. I had such an awesome time when I was book blogging and part of that community. The fact alone that I'm taking the time to write this tells me I'm already on the track back. Even if it will be less frequent than it once was.

I hope I can find my way back.