30 April 2021

Am Reading - Love & Gelato

Love & Gelato
by Jenna Evans Welch




What they say: “I made the wrong choice.”

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is go back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires her, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

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28 April 2021

Whatcha Reading Wednesday - The ​Crown of Gilded Bones

All the YES!

The ​Crown of Gilded Bones - Blood and Ash #3
by Jennifer L. Armentrout




What they say: She's been the victim and the survivor…

Poppy never dreamed she would find the love she’s found with Prince Casteel. She wants to revel in her happiness but first they must free his brother and find hers. It’s a dangerous mission and one with far-reaching consequences neither dreamed of. Because Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed. The true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. By right the crown and the kingdom are hers.

The enemy and the warrior…

Poppy has only ever wanted to control her own life, not the lives of others, but now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the gilded crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But as the kingdoms’ dark sins and blood-drenched secrets finally unravel, a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. And they will stop at nothing to ensure that the crown never sits upon Poppy’s head.

A lover and heartmate…

But the greatest threat to them and to Atlantia is what awaits in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans, ones she has waited hundreds of years to carry out. Poppy and Casteel must consider the impossible—travel to the Lands of the Gods and wake the King himself. And as shocking secrets and the harshest betrayals come to light, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for, they will discover just how far they are willing to go for their people—and each other.

And now she will become Queen…


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26 April 2021

Reread - Since You've Been Gone

Reread of this YA fav.

Since You've Been Gone
by Morgan Matson




What they say: It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Um... 

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane's list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait...what?

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25 April 2021

Cover Love - House of Hollow

House of Hollow
by Krystal Sutherland




What they say: Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats. 

Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. But when her eldest sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Iris learns just how weird her life can get: horned men start shadowing her, a corpse falls out of her sister’s ceiling, and ugly, impossible memories start to twist their way to the forefront of her mind. 

As Iris retraces Grey’s last known footsteps and follows the increasingly bizarre trail of breadcrumbs she left behind, it becomes apparent that the only way to save her sister is to decipher the mystery of what happened to them as children. 

The closer Iris gets to the truth, the closer she comes to understanding that the answer is dark and dangerous – and that Grey has been keeping a terrible secret from her for years.

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24 April 2021

Spotlight - Julius and Macy: A Very Brave Night

Julius and Macy: A Very Brave Night
by Annelouise Mahoney





What they say: A woodland tale about bravery and friendship.

Julius and Macy like to play heroes. Julius pretends he’s the defender of the forest, while Macy has a quieter strength. When their snack disappears one night, they decide to track down the only one who could have taken it—the Night Goblin. They both have to be brave in their own ways, and they ultimately discover that the real thief isn’t anything like they imagined.

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23 April 2021

Spotlight - Aru Shah and the City of Gold

Aru Shah and the City of Gold - Pandava #4
by Roshani Chokshi 





What they say: Aru Shah and her sisters--including one who also claims to be the Sleeper's daughter--must find their mentors Hanuman and Urvashi in Lanka, the city of gold, before war breaks out between the devas and asuras.

Aru has just made a wish on the tree of wishes, but she can't remember what it was. She's pretty sure she didn't wish for a new sister, one who looks strangely familiar and claims to be the Sleeper's daughter, like her.

Aru also isn't sure she still wants to fight on behalf of the devas in the war against the Sleeper and his demon army. The gods have been too devious up to now. Case in point: Kubera, ruler of the city of gold, promises to give the Pandavas two powerful weapons, but only if they win his trials. If they lose, they won't stand a chance against the Sleeper's troops, which will soon march on Lanka to take over the Otherworld.

Aru's biggest question, though, is why every adult she has loved and trusted so far has failed her. Will she come to peace with what they've done before she has to wage the battle of her life?

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21 April 2021

Whatcha Reading Wednesday - Fire Falling

Fire Falling - Air Awakens #2 
by Elise Kova



What they say: Soldier… Sorcerer… Savior… Who is Vhalla Yarl?

Vhalla Yarl marches to war as property of the Solaris Empire. The Emperor counts on her to bring victory, the Senate counts on her death, and the only thing Vhalla can count on is the fight of her life. As she grapples with the ghosts of her past, new challenges in the present threaten to shatter the remnants of her fragile sanity. Will she maintain her humanity? Or will she truly become the Empire’s monster?

Fire Falling is the second book in the Air Awakens Series.


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19 April 2021

Coming Soon - Witches Steeped

Witches Steeped in Gold
by Ciannon Smart




What they say: Divided by their order. United by their vengeance.

Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but every day brings her closer to freedom - and vengeance. 

Jazmyne is the Queen’s daughter, but unlike her sister before her, she has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power. 

Sworn enemies, these two witches enter a precarious alliance to take down a mutual threat. But power is intoxicating, revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain - except the lengths they will go to win this game.

This Jamaican-inspired fantasy debut about two enemy witches who must enter into a deadly alliance to take down a common enemy has the twisted cat-and-mouse of Killing Eve with the richly imagined fantasy world of Furyborn and Ember in the Ashes.

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18 April 2021

New Release - The Serpent's Curse

The Serpent's Curse - The Last Magician #3
by Lisa Maxwell 





What they say: Evade the serpent.

Heed the curse.

Rewrite the present.

Esta isn’t a stranger to high-stakes heists. She’s a seasoned thief who has no reservations about using her affinity for time to give her an edge, and she’s trained her whole life for one mission: travel back to 1902 New York, steal the ancient Book of Mysteries, and use its power to destroy the Brink and free the Mageus from the Order’s control.

But the Book held a danger that no one anticipated—Seshat, an angry goddess was trapped within its pages. Now that terrible power lives within Harte, and if given the chance, Seshat will use Esta to destroy the world and take her revenge.

Only Esta and Harte stand in her way.

Yet in their search to recover the elemental stones needed to bind Seshat’s power, Esta and Harte have found themselves stranded in time with a continent between them. As Esta fights to get back to Harte, the Order is no longer the only obstacle standing in her way.

Saving Harte—and magic itself—will put even Esta’s skills to the test. And all the while, another danger grows, one more terrible than both Seshat and the Order combined...

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17 April 2021

Am Reading - Girls with Sharp Sticks

I'm a bit behind the times with this but I'm finally reading...

Girls with Sharp Sticks
by Suzanne Young




What they say: The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. Under the watchful gaze of their Guardians, the all-girl boarding school offers an array of studies and activities, from “Growing a Beautiful and Prosperous Garden” to “Art Appreciation” and “Interior Design.” The girls learn to be the best society has to offer. Absent is the difficult math coursework, or the unnecessary sciences or current events. They are obedient young ladies, free from arrogance or defiance. Until Mena starts to realize that their carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears.

As Mena and her friends begin to uncover the dark secrets of what’s actually happening there—and who they really are—the girls of Innovations will find out what they are truly capable of. Because some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns.

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16 April 2021

A Dark and Hollow Star - Book Spotlight

I love the sound of this. Plus how amazing is the cover?!

A Dark and Hollow Star
by Ashley Shuttleworth




What they say: Choose your player.

The “ironborn” half-fae outcast of her royal fae family.
A tempestuous Fury, exiled to earth from the Immortal Realm and hellbent on revenge.
A dutiful fae prince, determined to earn his place on the throne.
The prince’s brooding guardian, burdened with a terrible secret.

For centuries, the Eight Courts of Folk have lived among us, concealed by magic and bound by law to do no harm to humans. This arrangement has long kept peace in the Courts—until a series of gruesome and ritualistic murders rocks the city of Toronto and threatens to expose faeries to the human world.

Four queer teens, each who hold a key piece of the truth behind these murders, must form a tenuous alliance in their effort to track down the mysterious killer behind these crimes. If they fail, they risk the destruction of the faerie and human worlds alike. If that’s not bad enough, there’s a war brewing between the Mortal and Immortal Realms, and one of these teens is destined to tip the scales. The only question is: which way?

Wish them luck. They’re going to need it.

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14 April 2021

Whatcha Reading Wednesday - Prepped

Prepped
by Bethany Mangle




What they say: For fans of Jeff Zentner and Katie Henry comes a thrilling and funny debut about a teen raised in a doomsday community who plots her escape with the boy from the bunker next door.

Always be ready for the worst day of your life.

This is the mantra that Becca Aldaine has grown up with. Her family is part of a community of doomsday preppers, a neighborhood that prioritizes survivalist training over class trips or senior prom. They’re even arranging Becca’s marriage with Roy Kang, the only eligible boy in their community. Roy is a nice guy, but he’s so enthusiastic about prepping that Becca doesn’t have the heart to tell him she’s planning to leave as soon as she can earn a full ride to a college far, far away.

Then a devastating accident rocks Becca’s family and pushes the entire community, including Becca’s usually cynical little sister, deeper into the doomsday ideology. With her getaway plans thrown into jeopardy, the only person Becca can turn to is Roy, who reveals that he’s not nearly as clueless as he’s been pretending to be.

When Roy proposes they run away together, Becca will have to risk everything—including her heart—for a chance to hope for the best instead of planning for the worst.

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12 April 2021

Spotlight - Prom Theory

Prom Theory
by Ann LaBar




What they say: In this heartwarming and whip-smart YA spin on The Rosie Project, a teen girl is determined to prove that love, like all things, should be scientifically quantified…right?

Iris Oxtabee has managed to navigate the tricky world of unspoken social interactions by reading everything from neuroscience journals to Wikipedia articles. Science has helped her fit the puzzle pieces into an understandable whole, and she’s sure there’s nothing it can’t explain. Love, for example, is just chemistry.

Her best friend Seth, however, believes love is one of life’s beautiful and chaotic mysteries, without need for explanation. Iris isn’t one to back down from a challenge; she’s determined to prove love is really nothing more than hormones and external stimuli. After all, science has allowed humanity to understand more complex mysteries than that, and Iris excels at science.

The perfect way to test her theory? Get the popular and newly-single Theo Grant, who doesn’t even know Iris exists, to ask her to prom. With prom just two weeks away, Iris doesn’t have any time to waste, so she turns her keen empirical talents and laser-focus attention to testing her theory.

But will proving herself correct cause her friendship with Seth—and the tantalizing possibility for something more—to become the failed experiment? 

For more info head to GR!
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11 April 2021

Releasing this week - You Choose Fairy Tales

I loved this type of book as a child. There's something special about having your say...!


You Choose Fairy Tales
by Pippa Goodhart and illustrated by Nick Sharratt





What they say: Make up your very own fairy tale adventure where YOU CHOOSE what happens next!

Which fairy tale hero would you like to be today? Where will you go on your fairy tale quest? And what fairy tale baddy would you least like to meet?

The possibilities are infinite in this captivating creative toolkit which will inspire children from three up to make their own stories again and again.

A magical sequel to YOU CHOOSE, YOU CHOOSE YOUR DREAMS and YOU CHOOSE IN SPACE - it's spell-binding!

More info over at GR!
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10 April 2021

Coming Soon - Dork Diaries: I Love Paris!

Dork Diaries: I Love Paris! 
by Rachel Renée Russell 
Tales from a Not-So-Posh Paris Adventure - Dork Diaries #15




What they say: Nikki Maxwell deals with the trials and triumphs of middle school in this fifteenth installment of the #1 New York Timesbestselling Dork Diaries series!

Will Nikki Maxwell and her friends make it to Paris in this next installment of the blockbuster Dork Diaries series? 

OMG, oh la la! Join Nikki Maxwell and her BFFs as they jet off to Paris!
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9 April 2021

Coming Soon - The ​Crown of Gilded Bones

The ​Crown of Gilded Bones - Blood and Ash #3
by Jennifer L. Armentrout




What they say: She's been the victim and the survivor…

Poppy never dreamed she would find the love she’s found with Prince Casteel. She wants to revel in her happiness but first they must free his brother and find hers. It’s a dangerous mission and one with far-reaching consequences neither dreamed of. Because Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed. The true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. By right the crown and the kingdom are hers.

The enemy and the warrior…

Poppy has only ever wanted to control her own life, not the lives of others, but now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the gilded crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But as the kingdoms’ dark sins and blood-drenched secrets finally unravel, a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. And they will stop at nothing to ensure that the crown never sits upon Poppy’s head.

A lover and heartmate…

But the greatest threat to them and to Atlantia is what awaits in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans, ones she has waited hundreds of years to carry out. Poppy and Casteel must consider the impossible—travel to the Lands of the Gods and wake the King himself. And as shocking secrets and the harshest betrayals come to light, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for, they will discover just how far they are willing to go for their people—and each other.

And now she will become Queen…

More info here!
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7 April 2021

Whatcha Reading Wednesday - The Extremely Embarrassing Life of Lottie Brooks

The Extremely Embarrassing Life of Lottie Brooks
by Katie Kirby




What they say: The first book in the hilarious new series for children by the bestselling creator of Hurrah For Gin. 

Lottie Brooks is 11 ¾ and her life is already officially over - not only is she about to start high school without any friends or glamorous swooshy hair, she's just discovered she's too flat-chested to wear A BRA!

She might as well give up now and go into hibernation with her hamsters Sir Barnaby Squeakington and Fuzzball the Third.

Lottie navigates the many perils of growing up in this fantastically funny new illustrated series for a 9-12 audience, filled with friendship, embarrassing moments and plenty of lols. 

Hilarious, relatable and full of heart, for fans of funny and chaotic family stories.

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5 April 2021

Down Comes the Night - Recent Release

Down Comes the Night
by Allison Saft




What they say: He saw the darkness in her magic. She saw the magic in his darkness.

Wren Southerland’s reckless use of magic has cost her everything: she’s been dismissed from the Queen’s Guard and separated from her best friend—the girl she loves. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate, Colwick Hall, to cure his servant from a mysterious illness, she seizes her chance to redeem herself.

The mansion is crumbling, icy winds haunt the caved-in halls, and her eccentric host forbids her from leaving her room after dark. Worse, Wren’s patient isn’t a servant at all but Hal Cavendish, the infamous Reaper of Vesria and her kingdom’s sworn enemy. Hal also came to Colwick Hall for redemption, but the secrets in the estate may lead to both of their deaths.

With sinister forces at work, Wren and Hal realize they’ll have to join together if they have any hope of saving their kingdoms. But as Wren circles closer to the nefarious truth behind Hal’s illness, they realize they have no escape from the monsters within the mansion. All they have is each other, and a startling desire that could be their downfall.

Allison Saft’s Down Comes the Night is a snow-drenched romantic fantasy that keeps you racing through the pages long into the night.

Love makes monsters of us all.

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4 April 2021

Book Spotlight - The Bright & the Pale

The Bright & the Pale
by Jessica Rubinkowski




What they say: Seventeen-year-old Valeria is one of the only survivors of the freeze, a dark magical hold Knnot Mountain unleashed over her village. Everyone, including her family, is trapped in an unbreakable sheet of ice. Ever since, she’s been on the run from the Czar, who is determined to imprison any who managed to escape. Valeria finds refuge with the Thieves Guild, doing odd jobs with her best friend Alik, the only piece of home she has left.

That is, until he is brutally murdered.

A year later, she discovers Alik is alive and being held against his will. To buy his freedom, she must lead a group of cutthroats and thieves on a perilous expedition to the very mountain that claimed her family. Only something sinister slumbers in the heart of Knnot.

And it has waited years for release.

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3 April 2021

New release - She's Too Pretty to Burn

She's Too Pretty to Burn
by Wendy Heard




What they say: An electric romance set against a rebel art scene sparks lethal danger for two girls in this expertly plotted YA thriller. For fans of E. Lockhart, Lauren Oliver and Kara Thomas.

The summer is winding down in San Diego. Veronica is bored, caustically charismatic, and uninspired in her photography. Nico is insatiable, subversive, and obsessed with chaotic performance art. They’re artists first, best friends second. But that was before Mick. Delicate, lonely, magnetic Mick: the perfect subject, and Veronica’s dream girl. The days are long and hot―full of adventure―and soon they are falling in love. Falling so hard, they never imagine what comes next. One fire. Two murders. Three drowning bodies. One suspect . . . one stalker. This is a summer they won’t survive.

Inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, this sexy psychological thriller explores the intersections of love, art, danger, and power.

"Wild and satisfying." —Kirkus Starred Review

⋆ An O Magazine 42 LGBTQ Books That Will Change the Literary Landscape This Spring Selection
⋆ A Cosmo Best YA Books of 2021
⋆ A PopSugar Best March 2021 YA Book Selection 

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2 April 2021

Release and Review - The Two Week Stand

Out now!

The Two Week Stand
by Samantha Towle





What they say: From NYT bestselling author Samantha Towle comes a sizzling beach romance, that will leave you hot in all the right places…

Dillon Dawson loves to write romance despite her latest relationship ending with her traveling to the Maldives alone on what was supposed to be her honeymoon. Now, the only thing she wants is two weeks of uninterrupted peace and quiet with absolutely no men in sight. 

West Oakley doesn’t even believe that romance exists, and he has no desire to convince himself otherwise. The only reason he’s heading to the Maldives is to escape a scandal and spend time on an island where no one knows who he is. 

But plans change, and when West takes one look at Dillon, another idea forms in his mind—a no-strings two-week stand. Even though Dillon knows their sexual chemistry is explosive, her romantic heart is torn.

Can she really spend fourteen nights in the arms of a god like West, making all of her fantasies come true, only to walk away at the end of it?

Or can Dillon turn this two-week stand into more than an unexpected holiday fling, convincing West that romance does exist after all? 

More info over at GR

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review!

What I say: I haven't been reading and reviewing many contemporary romance stories recently because I lost my romance reading mojo and became disheartened at reading the same story repeated again and again. Not that there is anything wrong with romance stories at all, but I wanted a change. When I received the invite for The Two Week Stand I knew I'd be in good hands because a Samantha Towle story always manages to make me smile and I jumped at the chance to meet Towle's next heroine and blush-inducing bad boy.

Dillion has been screwed over in a big way by those who should love her the most and finds herself spending her honeymoon alone in the Maldives. Whilst she's trying to rebuild her life, she meets handsome stranger, West, who seems charmed by her outbursts and sets about helping her forget the past. Have I read other bride goes solo on what has supposed to be her honeymoon stories? Yes, of course, but none of them have made me laugh as much as Dillion's story!

Oh Dillon! How I giggled at her constant word vomit. As someone who suffers from a similar cringeworthy affliction, I think she managed to be even more awkward than me! In true Towle form, Dillion isn't just awkward, she's also a charming mixture of loyal, funny and totally knows how to bring it in the daring romance stakes when paired with the right leading man. I loved seeing her confidence grow and seeing her start to take what she wants. Go girl!

The chemistry is hawt and intense but it was the friendship and camaraderie between Dillion and West that I liked the most. Their banter reminded me of Leandro and India's from Towle's Revved.

The Two Week Stand is the perfect summer romance to bright your day and bring a smile to your face. Team Towle for the win!

4.5 Stars in my Sky!
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