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Pre-Order Book Binge Buying

So I never considered pre-ordering books before. For me it always seemed silly. They come out on a specific date and I can go to the store then and get them if I wanted to. I did get a little worried that a book I really wanted wouldn’t be in the stores when I went to get it but that never was a real problem.

Then I read some posts from some of my favorite authors and realized how good pre-orders are for the authors. I never understood how important pre-orders could be and how much they could help show the true potential of an author. So that being said I kind of went a bit crazy with pre-orders recently.

(Note: Some of these books I am going to mention are out now but when I ordered them they were pre-orders so I am counting them in this list).

DarkDawn – Jay Kristoff – This was the first book I pre-orderd back in June. I read the first two books, adored them and had to make sure I would have this book the moment I could have it. I am actually putting aside another book to read this one, that is how excited I am for this book.

Sword and Pen – Rachel Caine – I have loved this series since I began it. I think it got to a point where it was dragging a little bit but I am very excited to find out how it ends!

The Testaments – Margaret Atwood – I loved “Handmaid’s Tale,” when I first read it, years ago. I renewed my love of the story after the show started on Hulu. When I heard there was going to be a sequel to the book I was so excited. I need to know how this goes and how it is relevant to our world today.

Infinity Son – Adam Silvera – I adore Adam’s books. There is not one that I disliked. This is his first fantasy series and I cannot wait to read it. It centers around Pheonix’s which is different. I know it will probably break my heart but I am okay with that!

The Starless Sea – Erin Morgenstern – The Night Circus is one of my all time favorite books. It was different, it was mystical and it was something that wrapped me up from the first page. I have been waiting for ages for her to write another book and I can’t wait to read this one.

The above books are books I have already pre-ordered. Below are the ones I will be pre-ordering in the next week or so. I had to let my bank account take a moment to reset a bit first.

Wayward Son – Rainbow Rowell – I just finished Carry On a few weeks ago. I thought it was fun and goofy and I am very interested to see how Simon’s story continues

Call Down the Hawk – Maggie Steifvater – The Raven Boys is one of my favorite series. Ronan was my favorite character and I can’t wait to read a story about him.

The Toll – Neal Shusterman – This series is original and exciting. The last book ended on a serious cliffhanger and I can’t wait to see how it ends.

Come Tumbling Down – Seanan McGuire – This is the next book in the Wayward Children series. It continues Jack and Jill’s story. I love the way these books go back and forth and I plan on re-reading their first book to refresh myself.

Wicked Saints – (Something Dark and Holy #1) – Emily A. Duncan – Review

Nadya has spent her whole life being told she is the savior her people needs. She is the only one able to speak with all the gods. She is going to be the one to bring back the gods to the heathens and save her people from the war. What happens when she is cut off from her gods and begins to learn the truth about who they are and what they truly want? Can she change her destiny?
Malachiasz is considered a monster. He has a dark past, one he can’t escape. Can he find a way to live his life while also protecting the new people he has come to love and care about?
Serafin is a prince who is out to prove his family wrong. He has been shipped off to the front lines of the war his whole life. Now he has to take a stand and make a name for himself. Can he find himself and save his kingdom at the same time?

“We’re all monsters, Nadya,” […] “Some of us just hide it better than others.”

Mal achiasz, page, 233

This was a book I got in an Owlcrate subscription box. I don’t know if I would have picked it up on my own but I did find myself intrigued by it. I loved the idea of the gods and this new mythology. Mythology is something that has always interested me. The way that people used stories and gods to help make sense of the world is one of those things that I adore.

I also love reading books where whole new gods and mythologies are created. I thought this one did a great job at putting us in this world and helping us to understand the gods and who they were. You got a good sense of how they behaved, what they wanted and who they favored. They didn’t feel jumbled around around or too confusing. The few sentences we got in the beginning of some of the chapters were enough to give me a clear idea of who we were talking about.

I liked that this book felt like there was a lot of potential to this story. This one did a lot of the set up a first book needs to do and it did it well. It left me wondering about what could happen next and where the story is going. I liked the hints at the creation of the gods and what that could mean. I will probably read the next book for that aspect alone; I really want to know the origins of these gods and what that means for the characters.

I also thought it interesting how Nadya’s crisis of faith was handled. She is someone who grew up being told her gods were the only beings that mattered and the only ones who could help her. She defined herself by them. Then she is thrown into a new world where she is cut off from them and begins learning new things that plant doubts in her mind. It was interesting to see her start to think for herself and begin to consider the idea that what she has been fed and told her whole life may not be true.

“It’s what we tie to the word ‘god,’ I think that bothers me. This idea that these beings are so much more than we could ever be so they deserve our worship.”

Malachiasz, page 172

I was not thrilled with any of the characters. None of them stood out to me as ones that I could latch on to. They all had good elements but none felt fully developed and fledged out.

Nadya’s story centered around her trying to find herself and I liked that to a point. I felt though too often she fell back on her old thinking and was constantly going back and forth. I wanted her to be a bit stronger.

I think Malachiasz’s character was the one that felt like he had the most potential to me. He is one that we are supposed to see as the villain. We are supposed to fear him. But we quickly see his soft and good side. That whole storyline moves well until the end. The decision he makes at the end completely flips his whole character development on its head. I felt disappointed by his choice and I am hoping there is more to it in the next book.

“Where would she be when the agony of losing everything finally caught up with her; would she be in a place where she could handle it?”

Nadya, page 83

I have said this before and I will continue to say it until it becomes something YA books truly consider; not every friendship has to lead to a romance!

I love a good romance. I am all for characters finding that one person who understands them and helps them grow. I adore a sweet couple and one that I can relate to. What I don’t like is two people who are afraid of each other, hate each other, despise each other one minute then have one small moment and are suddenly falling all over one another.

That is not how love or attraction works! You don’t despise someone, and then they touch your arm and you get tingly and throw everything out the window. You might begin to see a different side of them and that can be a slow burn that takes time. There is nothing wrong with a romance that gradually develops as a character learns who the other one truly is. I love that storyline, but that takes time and effort. That needs to be done slowly.

This book went one minute of Nadya being terrified of a certain character and considering him a monster to feeling like she has to kiss him. How is that possible? I could not figure out how one moment changed it all and enough to create this desire that trumped everything else in her life. That just did not sit well with me.

“I’m the first person who refuse to fail.”

Page 314

I ended up giving this book three stars, mostly because of the potential I saw in it. I have a feeling the plot can go in a very interesting direction. I probably will read the sequel but I really hope the characters get better in the next one.

Nevernight and Godsgrave – Jay Kristoff – Review

(I am going to review both books since I finished them while I was on my hiatus and the way I think about them is as one entity. It is just easier to review them at the same time instead of trying to piece out what happened in which book).

“The books we love, they love us back. And jut as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us. I can see it in you as I see it in me. You’re a daughter of words. A girl with a story to tell.”

Nevernight, pg. 243

Mia is our for revenge. Her father was killed. Her mother and brother imprisoned. She was supposed to die but escaped. Now she has a list of people that need to die. The only way she knows how to get her true revenge is by joining an elite group of assassins. But the test to get in is brutal. Even after she makes it the world is not as simple as she would like to think. Is revenge necessary and needed and who are her real enemies?

“Never flinch.” A cold whisper in her ear. “Never fear. And never, ever forget.”

Nevernight, pg. 16

This is again one of those book series that I have seen around but never pariticualy felt drawn to. I liked the premise but it didn’t stand out as anything too unique. Plus I thought it was more YA assassin and I thought it might be a little watered down.

Boy was I wrong on all accounts. First of all this is NOT YA. The author frequently says this and I have no idea how anyone who has read it can mistake it for YA. I know the protagonist is a teenager but damn this is beyond what you find in YA novels. I mean it opens with Mia literally losing her virginity and killing someone. This is how this series starts and the tone is set from that page onwards. (The way the same language is used to describe both scenes is poetry in action and I was blown away by that bit of storytelling).

Mia is my new favorite person. I adore her because she is one of those characters that is so dark and deep that you realize you will never truly understand her. You watch her struggle with her plans, her past and her present. She is constantly wondering if she is making the right choice while also taking lives in the process. While she questions the world around her, she is also not one to lay down at someone’s feet and let them control her.

Mia has complete control of her life and I admire that. Even with everything against her she finds a way to hold onto herself. She doesn’t forget who she is truly on the inside. She could become this full on killer or this wrecked soul instead she finds a way to be both.

Another thing I loved about this series is that it is unapologetically dark. People die, a lot. People are killed in brutal ways. People betray others and don’t care. People look out for themselves and themselves only. There is no sugar coating the darkness. There is no sidestepping around the issues trying to find the moral way of looking at things. Sometimes the world is dark and sometimes it is brutally dark. I like that Kristoff doesn’t sanitize it. You worry about the character because you know that they might not die but they will not come out of this series whole.

I also liked the way all the characters develop throughout the story. This story doesn’t have any shallow characters. There is no one who is just there to talk or be part of a backstory. Everyone has depth. Everyone has meaning. I feel like they are all alive and I worry about all of them. I want my favorites to make it but I know that won’t happen. In the end I want them to have a full and true story and I feel like that that is what we will get from this series.

“If you can’t hurt the ones who hurt you, sometimes hurting anyone will do.”

Nevernight, pg. 210

This is purely because of my personal preference and has nothing to do with the actual writing or story itself. I got a little bored in the middle of Godsgave because of the amount of battle sequences and fighting sequences.

The whole premise of that book is that Mia is part of this fighting ring in order to get close to one of those she wants to kill. To get to the end point she has to go through a number of fights and training. I am not someone who enjoys reading about battles, fighting or training to fight. I find the descriptions boring. I find it hard to focus on those moments.

The scenes were all well written and conveyed the story well. I just didn’t connect with those moments as much. Though I will say that the connection between the characters throughout this time was great. I found new favorites and feared for them during the fights.

“But there is beauty in knowing all things end, Mia. The brightest flames burn out the fastest. But in them, there is warmth that can last a lifetime.”

Godsgrave, pg. 134

There was nothing that stood out and threw me out of the book. I was able to predict many of the coming deaths. There is a lot of the – here is a character we are growing attached to, and now they are dead. Or the look, they got what they want or will get it and now they are dead. But that is not unsurprising in a book like this. You have to do that many times in order drive home what is at stake for everyone in the story.

I gave Nevernight five stars and Godsgrave four stars. As I stated above for Godsgrave I knocked off a star just because of my issue with the huge focus on fights. But as a whole I would defiantly give this series five stars so far. I can’t wait for DarkDawn in September. (I even preordered it and I never do that!)

“Thats the power of words: twenty-six letters can paint a whole universe.”

Godsgrave, pg. 265

Down the TBR Hole #14

I need to go through this list and determine what I really want to read. I have quite a few on my physical shelf that I am making my way. I like doing these because it reminds me of older books that I’d really like to read.

Rules:

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 or 15 or 20, if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  • Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next time

Current TBR Shelf – 269

Collide – Melissa J. Crispin – I like the idea of a fighting to save earth and an afterlife but the characterization of the main woman being “selfish” makes me back away. I can’t stand whiny characters who think they know everything.
Decision: Remove

The Great ForgettingJames Renner – While I love the question at the end of the summary, is it better to forget or face your mistakes? The summary seems too much like running around trying to survive and I am just not quite in the mood for that story at this moment in time.
Decision: Remove

The Man of Primrose LaneJames Renner – I think I added some of these book because their setting is in my state. This one is just a murder mystery and not one that really interests me.
Decision: Remove

The Trouble with Being GodWilliam f. Aicher – Again there was a time I would have enjoyed this story. Another murder mystery but nothing that pulls me in.
Decision: Remove.

The Rules of Ever After Killian B .Brewer – I love the idea of messing with fairytales and traditional ever-after tropes. This sounds like fun.
Decision: Keep

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World – Vicki Myron, Bret Witter – It’s about a library cat! I mean how can you not want to read this! I adore animals, especially dogs and cats. (My own cat is currently curled up on my lap as I type this). I have to read this and just bask in the happiness of it.
Decision: Keep

Pivot Point – Kasie West – I like the idea of having to chose between two realities. While this seems to surround a love story primarily it still holds interest for me. I will have to give it a shot one day.
Decision: Keep

Enchanted – Alethea Kontis – I can’t figure out why I would add this one. It sounds super generic. Kissing a frog, becomes a prince and now she has to fall in love with him. Nothing screams original or new.
Decision: Remove

The Lie Tree- Frances Hardinge – The Lie Tree idea is what is appealing to me. I am not sure I’ll get to this one anytime soon but I think I might give it shot sooner or later
Decision: Keep

Are Prisons Obsolete? – Angela Y Davis – While this sounds interesting. I think it is more something I would watch a documentary about then read.
Decision: Remove

Keep: 4
Remove: 6

This is probably one of the more accomplished versions that I have done of these posts. The trick will be to see how many I add before the next one.

Mid Year Freak Out Tag

While I haven’t been blogging I have been reading. I’m never not reading. I thought this tag would be a good way to give a snap shot of my reading for this year so far.

Best book you’ve read so far this year

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

I have been putting this book off for ages and I finally read the first two in the series. I fell in love with this series so fast. I adore Mia and her fight to get what she wants. I adore the way this story looks at revenge and doesn’t treat the story with kid gloves. People die, people are murdered and harsh decisions are made. I cannot wait for the last book this September!

Best sequel you’ve read so far this year

In an Absent Dream- Seanan McGuire

I know this is more just part of the series then a sequel but I do love these books. I love the whole series and this one was no exception. I just wish these were longer because I get through them in about a day.

New release you’ve haven’t read yet but want to

There are two that come to mind. First after reading Nevernight I realized that I like Jay Kristoff’s writing as well as Amie Kaufman. I have Aurora Rising and am excited to dive into it soon.

I also really want to read I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver. I love the idea of a book about a non binary main character. I have heard great things about the one and am eager to read it.

Most Anticipated Release of the Second Half of the Year

Right now I would have to say DarkDawn. I cannot wait for this book. The way Godsgrave ended left me desperate to know what happens next.

Biggest Disappointment this Year

I would have say Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman. While I enjoyed it, it wasn’t as exciting as I wanted it to be. It felt very formulaic and didn’t really offer anything new in terms of the way of telling the end of the world type of story.

Favorite New Author

I would have to say Jay Kristoff. I just adore Nevernight so much that I am eager to read the rest of his books. I love the dark atmosphere of his books. I like the idea that his stories aren’t going to be all smiles and perfect. The darker themes are hard to write about sometimes but I feel like he did it well in Nevernight and I am interested to see how he does it in other stories.

Book that made you cry

This is hard because I don’t cry at books. Some might make me emotional but I just am not someone who cries. None of the books I have read so far this year are even that emotional. I think some were supposed to be, but they didn’t hit me that way.

Book that made you happy

The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu.

I love Magnus and Alec and can’t wait for the rest of this series. I love reading this because I get to see how they evolved better throughout the series. I also enjoy them because I know how they end up and it just makes me happy how their story ends.

Favorite book to film adaptation

It wasn’t film but a tv series, Good Omens. I loved this book and this series on Amazon Prime told the story perfectly. It followed the book in just the right way. It brought all the characters to life and I raced through it. I know it took a long time for this series to get to this point but it was time well spent.

Favorite post on your blog so far this year

Since I took a break I don’t have many to choose from. I honestly wasn’t thrilled with my posts from this year because I knew I was just posting to post. I hope that at the end of this year I can come back to this and have something to add.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far

I just love the cover for A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray. It is on my list to read soon.

Name a book you need to read by the end of this year.

I am just going to post a picture of the books that are sitting on my TBR shelf that I am desperate to get to soon!

Foundation Series – Issac Asimov – Mini-Review

I was at my uncles and he was getting rid of some book and two of them were the prequel and sequel to the main Foundation series. I liked the summaries of those, so he recommended I read the original series instead. I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to read the three main books in the Foundation series, it was a large book. In the end I got through all three books in about 2-3 weeks.

The Foundation series follow a civilization trying to keep themselves from complete destruction. Hari Seldon spent his life creating the Seldon plan. He knows that their universe is going to end up breaking down and falling a part. His math shows him that it will take 30,000 years to reinstate an empire. His plan will close that window into 1,000 years instead.

He creates two Foundation societies. These are placed on the opposite ends of the universe. They are in charge of following his plan and making sure that everything works to his plan. The three books go through some of the high points of following the plan.

One of the most interesting parts of this series is that it doesn’t follow a single character. We get to jump into characters during small portions of the time frame. The whole series takes place over hundreds of years. Instead of centering the story on these characters, it is the plot.

The creation of a new empire is the real character in this story. I was wrapped up in how they were going to make this work. They hit snags and it was fascinating to watch as different aspects of civilization popped up and faded away.

There was commentary on religion as a controlling mechanism that was interesting. I felt like I was reading about our own world’s history in fast forward. Trade came and went. Dictators came and went. The reader saw how this all could happen and why it was done to keep towards this path of a new strong empire.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed this series since there wasn’t any characters to latch on. I am a character reader. I look for someone I can relate too. Instead I found myself wrapped up in the way this whole thing took place. I wanted the empire to survive and I was okay with however that was done.

My uncle is adamant the prequel and one sequel are not that good. They were written years and years later. I do have them and might one day read them but right now I think I will stick with just the original series.

February Wrap Up

This month felt like a slower month for me. It was a slower month in terms of blogging actually. Reading wasn’t as bad, though apparently according to my Goodreads challenge I am 2 books behind. I am not going to get too upset about that yet.

This month was busier than I planned on it being. I didn’t have as much time during the weekends to read or write as I am used to. Hence why I had much fewer posts than I have in the past. I plan on trying to make that better in March but we will see if I am able to that or if things pop up again.

Books read:
I was able to read 3 books this month. It was a decent reading month. I enjoyed this months books.

Crucible – James Rollins – I love this series. This was a good addition to the Sigma Force series. It didn’t focus on who I thought it should focus on though. I did enjoy that it made me more afraid for the main characters than the any other ones have ever done.

Black Wings Beating – Alex London – I was expecting more from this book. It was interesting but didn’t spark enough for me to anticipate the next one.

Fear the Fantastic – K.A. Applegate – I didn’t remember this one from my first readings. It was interesting but it felt kind of boring compared to the other ones.

Blog Posts:
The Crucible – James Rollins – Review
Black Wings Beating – Alex London – Review
Fear the Fantastic – Everworld #6- K.A. Applegate – Mini-Review
Down the TBR Hole #13

(Not only do I plan on making sure to post more I also will get back to reading and commenting more.)

Books I Bought:
Past and Other Things that Should Stay Buried – Sean David Hutchinson
Here and Now and Then – Mike Chen
The Masked City – The Invisible Library #2 – Genevieve Cogman
In an Absent Dream – (Wayward Children #4) – Seanan McGuire
Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

Writing:
My writing group is going well. I have found it is helping me stay on track with writing. I may be writing random things and not necessarily my novel but the drive is there. At this point that is what I needed.


ABC Challenge (D)

Time to dive into the next letter of the alphabet and check out what stands out. This got a little delayed because my books were in boxes for a while but they are out and now on their shelves!

Earlier Lists: (A) (B)(C)

Memorable Titles with Starting with D:

Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown – I loved this book. The twists and turn were amazing and compelling. It was also fun because my mom read it right before we went to France and Italy and we were able to see a lot of the art mentioned in the story.

Dread Nation – Justina Ireland – This was a fresh look at zombies. I loved the way it dealt with history and past issues while also creating stunning story. I can’t wait for more from this world.

Dance of Dragons – George RR Martin – I enjoyed reading the Game of Thrones series. This one set up so much and I really wish the next book would come out. But I guess I have the show to give me answers at least.

Decipher – Stel Pavlou – Another fun thriller adventure that ties in history.

Doomsday Key and Devil’s Colony – James Rollins – I have said before that I adore the Sigma Force series. These are two great parts of that series. Doomsday Key was the first one I read and I was hooked.

Darkest….– Gena Showalter – The whole Lord of the Underworld series has Darkest as the first word in the series. This skiers is a guilty pleasure for sure. It is almost done which is goo because these last few books haven’t been my favorites

Dream Thieves – Maggie Stiefvater – This was Ronan’s book and solidified my love for him as a character. I cannot wait until we get his full series.

Books Starting with D on my TBR List:

End of the Year Book Tag 2018

Life has been super busy for the last month. I bought and moved into a new house (which is still filled with boxes), then there was Christmas. All of this made it difficult for me to do much blogging. I do have two books I want to review (as soon as I unbox one of them) and to do a another Down the TBR Hole tag, an ABC Challenge post and a Christmas book haul post. I will get to those soon but may be a bit after the New Year.

I wanted to get this one out before the end of the year. I though it would be a great way to wrap up the year and head off to the New Year! I am not sure where this tag started but I have seen it just about everywhere at this point.

Are There Any Books this year that you started and need to finish?
I am currently reading “The Archived” by V.E. Schwab. I would really like to finish that one before the end of the year but not sure I will have the time. If I don’t finish it before the 1st I will have it done in that first week of the year.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?
No, not really. I am not really a seasonal reader, more a mood reader.

Is there a new release you are still waiting for?
I am eager to read “Queen of Air and Darkness” by Cassandra Clare. It was the most recent one I that came out in mid December. I am also eager for James Rollins news Sigma Force novel, “Crucible.” It isn’t coming out this year but it will be out in early January so that is close enough.

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?
Since the end of the year is literally a handful of days away I am not going to get three books read. I will like to read as much of “The Archived” as I can. I also liked to get through a few stories in a collection I got for Christmas called Dystopians and Utopians.

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite this year?
I doubt it. I am liking “The Archived” but I doubt it will become my favorite of the year.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2019?
Sort of. I would really like to read more diverse books as well as books about psychology. I love the way the human mind works and would like to read more about that. I also would like to read a bit more about major events in history.

I tag anyone who is in the mood to end do an end of the year tag. Since I won’t be back until after the New Year, hope everyone had a great holiday and has a safe and Happy New Year!

The ABC Challenge (B)

I saw this challenge over on A Book. A Thought. I liked the idea of going through my shelves and thinking about some of the books that stick out in my mind. I have fun going through my shelves and picking out books. I found some that I want to reread soon.

Memorable Titles that Start with “B”

Beneath the Sugar SkySeanan McGuire – This was probably my favorite of this series so far. It was a fun, twisting story that I felt connected me best to the characters.

Blind Faith – Ben Eaton – I bought this when I was in London years ago. I remember it being about following a government without thinking for yourself. I need to read it again now and see how it relates to our time.

Because You Love to Hate MeVarious Authors- This was an interesting short story collection. It told stories from villain’s POV. Victoria Schwab has one about death that is just fantastic.

The Book ThiefMarkus Zusak – This is a classic and it is as good as the reviews have said. It heart-breaking but in the best way possible.

Books Starting with “B” on my TBR

What are your opinions on some of these books? Any that you love?

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