Wrap-up: January 2017

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I’M BACK! Finally, I can blog full-time. 😌 I’ve been trying to catch up on my TBR pile on my shelf so I can be ready for the release of Victoria Aveyard’s King Cage and Kelley Armstrong’s A Darkness Absolute. And I have to throw in a little weirdness to boot.

 

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’ve fallen in love with this book. I adore Kelley’s fantasy work, and she’s known for that genre, but this series just brings an exhilarating twist to her repertoire. Her writing shines in City of the Lost. It’s one of her best works in the last few years, and I highly recommend. Kelley has a huge reservoir of stories, and you may feel overwhelmed. But the Rockton Thriller series steps away from previous characters and solely focuses on a solid psychological thriller. If you love her Nadia Stafford series, you’ll love this.

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I cannot get enough of this series. Yes, there are some issues with the whole special snowflake syndrome, but, and I mean BUT, Victoria’s storytelling makes up for some of these problems, and she takes a new spin on that trope. Like The Hunger Games, Red Queen inspired me to take more risks with picking up YA books, and I’ll always be grateful for her work.

Reviews for both Red Queen and Glass Sword will be coming soon!

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Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Glass Sword has an X-Men feel to it with Mare, Cal, and the other newbloods (Reds with Silver abilities) looking to find, well, more of their kind. Mare and Cal try to deal with betrayal they never saw coming in Red Queen. And throughout the book, Mare struggles with herself, fighting an internal tug-of-war. Her transformation is hard to read. THAT ENDING. My feels can’t take it.

#freemare!

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The Boatman by Kat Hawthorne

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

So my girl Kat hooked me up with her charming and dark little MG story revolving around a girl after my own heart. It has a dash of Coraline and a sprinkle of Tim Burton’s magic. Kat offers such a refreshing tale. I simply love this book.

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The Oddity by Kat Hawthorne

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book looks wonderful in person. I read it back in late 2016, but it has always struck a cord with me. What is life? What is death?  The Oddity is one of the most intriguing and thought-provoking stories I’ve ever read.

I will always support small publishers. So if you want to do the same, go directly to the publisher and buy here.

Find my review here.

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Review: The Boatman by Kat Hawthorne

25143847The Boatman by Kat Hawthorne

Published by: BookFish Books LLC

Publication Date: May 26, 2015

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy

Extent: 178 pages

Rating: 5/5

Source: Gift from Author


Isabel Wixon is weird. Not only does she see dead things, but her list of friends consists of a talkative ventriloquist’s dummy and the gentlemanly spider that lives in her hair. Real friends? Too hard. Inventing friends is much easier.

Inventing the Boatman—a terrible monster that lures kids into a strange sleeping sickness and never lets them go—probably wasn’t one of her better ideas though.


Izzy, also known as Isabel Wixon, has a knack for finding the weirdest friends. A talking––yes, I actually wrote the word “talking”––ventriloquist’s dummy, a gentleman in a form of a spider, and a ghost girl who insists on taking off her head when she feels the need are said friends. Weird? Yes. Am I intrigued? More than yes. So if any of these characters freak you out, or if you have Ron Weasley’s fear of spiders, heed my warning: go find a novel filled with sunshine and daisies and turn back now.

Izzy doesn’t fit in with normal people. I don’t see how she could since she sees ghosts, and Monty, her spider friend, lives in her hair. So when she hears of the Boatman, he piques her interests. But thinking of this dastardly fellow may lead her to an early grave. You see, the Boatman has spread fear and pain throughout the town. A sleeping illness takes children at the cusp of life. But how can you fight a monster that haunts your dreams?

With a smidgen of Tim Burton’s touch of horror, The Boatman will tug at your heartstrings, especially if you live in the dark side like my friend Kat. She crafts her stories in such way that will grab your curiosity the moment you pick up her work. Disastrous and dismal stories are her forte. She thrives in them. And The Boatman is a shining piece I adore. The characters move the story along masterfully. The story itself kept me up for several nights. I couldn’t get enough of Izzy, Monty, and all the others. Dora Mitchell, the illustrator, perfectly captures these characters and brings the story to another level.

So if you have an affinity for Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, pick up this book. It’s a cleverly written story that will show children they can be whoever they want, so as long they stand up for their convictions and never back down from anything. But I warn you now: don’t grab the oar.

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Book Haul: November 2016

My poor and already full bookshelf. But I need more books. Scratch that thought. I need a bookshelf, not books. Uh, nope, that thought didn’t last three seconds. I’ll eventually get a new one. I think the suspense of reading these gorgeous books might kill me. Might?! Will. Definitely will.

22299763Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

I’M NOT READY. I don’t want this series to end so quickly. Why? Why?! I need more people who feel the same way I do for this series so, at least, I can gush, cry over the characters, and not feel like such a possessive and crazily obsessed fan, or hopefully I can find more who think like me (thankfully I have Dana). The first book is just perfection mixed in six masterful POVs.

I can only hope for more stories of my perfect heist gang.

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20053031.jpgThe Witches of New York by Ami McKay

I will buy any book Ami publishes. I’m still waiting for the sequel of The Birth House. But seeing Moth again is such a great surprise! Moth, now named Adelaide Thom, has grown up.

When I found out Ami was publishing a new book, I wasn’t expecting to see Moth again. Now this book has a touch of supernatural, and  I’m always glad to get into that genre. Ami has a way to write an endearing, powerful female characters.

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rex-epub-cov2_origRex by Cody B. Stewart, Adam Rocke, and Mark Rogers

Oh look at it. I’m in love. It’s in my hands. FINALLY. I’ve seen some of the book’s birth through my friend Ellie, who is the publisher of Common Deer Press. And I’m so happy to see this book in the flesh.

You get a taste of E.T., Jurassic Park, and 90s scientific flare. I love how Rex gave me a little piece of my childhood back. You can find my review here.

Please, and I mean please, buy from small, indie publishers. The money made through direct sales will go to the publisher and authors, not a third-party seller!

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7ea7ea_e3a172eb0b7a42618cde0fc328529d09~mv2_d_1800_2475_s_2The Oddity by Kat Hawthorne

It’s so much prettier in person. So much. The Internet and the ARC don’t do it justice.

Kat takes you on a cleverly twisted journey told through eloquent prose. She injects the consequences of right or wrong, fate, and genetic engineering. And just to keep you guessing, she then intertwines tarot card and its lure into the mix.

Check out my review!

Again, buy from indie publishers!

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25143847.jpgThe Boatman by Kat Hawthorne

I’ve been wanting to read this book since the first I heard of it in my Book Design course. So when Common Deer Press sent it with my Rex copy, along with The Oddity (which I wasn’t expecting either), I freaked.

Isabel is a girl after my own heart. This odd child not only sees dead things  but also has a cast of interesting friends: a talking ventriloquist’s dummy and a gentleman in the form of a spider named Monty, who wears a top hat. You had me at dead things, but you sealed the deal with a top hat-wearing spider. But to make things even more creepy, she creates The Boatman, who lures children to a sleeping illness.

I can’t wait to sink my teeth into this book! Thank you, Ellie! ❤️

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Wrap-Up: August 2016

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This month certainly wasn’t the most productive, and I haven’t put a dent in tackling my bookshelf. But I’ve read some captivating books!

The Oddity by Kat Hawthorne

How much can I gush about this small little treat? Kat’s work made me think. A lot. And not many others do. Sure, you get some books that may make you question a few things, but this one made me think. The story is simply stunning and enchanting, and I hope to have this book on my shelf soon!

One thing I can say is that I love me some beautifully designed books. My Ryerson program has taught me how to appreciate the simplicity and the love of book design. Here’s my review.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong 

I’ve read this book about three times, and every time I do, I fall in love with the world building, the characters, and the storyline. What I love about this series is that it still contains similar themes as her other work, but this one has such a dynamic world I haven’t seen before, and I truly appreciate the mythology behind this story! It truly captured me.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Empire of Night by Kelley Armstrong

Moria truly shines in this sequel. While I didn’t like how the twins were separated, I love how they grew as indidivuals. And the mythology in this book is superb! My God, I love it. I cannot wait to read Forest of Ruin.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’ll be posting my reviews for both books soon! And you’ll soon see a big change on my site, so don’t worry. A different name but the same content! One reason why I haven’t been around lately.

Review: The Oddity by Kat Hawthorne

7ea7ea_e3a172eb0b7a42618cde0fc328529d09~mv2_d_1800_2475_s_2The Oddity by Kat Hawthorne

Republished by: Common Deer Press

Republication Date: August 10, 2016

Genre: Literary, Fantasy

Extent: 100 pages

Rating: 4/5


You know those books you’ve read about fair maidens trapped by unkind relatives in high towers with no hope for escape? You know the stories about charming knights keen to rescue the fair maiden? Are those the kind of stories you like? Well, sorry to disappoint, but The Oddity is nothing like that.

What if the fair maiden is actually a genetically engineered monster capable of great destruction? What if the relatives have a good and just reason for keeping the maiden under lock and key? What if the knight couldn’t charm his way out of a paper bag let alone yet another jail cell? There is a good chance that is what you’ll find in this book.

Based on the Tarot and full of deep thoughts about life and death, right and wrong, betrayal and…the opposite of betrayal, The Oddity is not like any other book you’ve ever read.


Note: I’ve received an eARC for a honest review. Again, receiving one doesn’t sway my opinion. This book was previously published as a ebook by another publisher.

Time is terminal, the greatest killer anyone has ever know. But physical death is not what’s important. The soul is eternal. It’s what you do with your time that determines who you are and what you are capable of.

A genetically engineered girl who can see the future? A book that makes you ponder everything in life? Hear my fangirl call! Kat has such elegant prose and wit. They drew me in at the first paragraph.

While you read this book, your own perception of life and death, fate and free will, and consequences is put at odds with Kat’s work. When a book wakes you up, then pulls you in so masterly that you believe you live within these pages, you know you’re in for a stunning read. Oddity truly is that. I felt as if I was reading one of Chuck Palahniuk’s pieces. Kat explores the ramifications of peoples’ choices, and she masterfully injects tarot into her storytelling. She is able to draw readers in and forces them to reflect on their decisions, whether small or large. Not many authors can put me in a crash course in existentialism, but she has! Her characters are so believably real. I loved how Kat ties them together at the end.

There are no epic battles or slain emperors in The Oddity; there are questions that flash across the page and demand you to answer them, and you may not like the result. The Oddity is a rare piece of fiction. What surprised me the most was how Kat tricked me with that unexpected twist (never saw it coming!). If a book does not make you think, I don’t believe it’s good fiction. I want more from this cleverly crafted world. I want to walk the streets and see the Oddities. Hell, I want to be one.

Time is the pathway to divinity, for it could be said that the one who controls time controls life and death, and the one who controls life and death transcends the realm of mortality and enters into the realm of the Gods.

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