For the Record by

{Book Review} For The Record by Charlotte Huang

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{Book Review} For The Record by Charlotte HuangFor the Record by Charlotte Huang
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on November 10th 2015
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like... until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything  Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen heartthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated. Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule... Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?

My Thoughts:

For The Record by Charlotte Huang is a behind-the-scenes look at what happens when a small town girl is thrust into the spotlight when she becomes the lead singer of a famous band. Think a YA book version of JEM or That Thing You Do. Chelsea has resigned herself to returning to her small town life after losing a televised singing competition. Then she gets a phone call offering her an opportunity that will thrust her back into the Hollywood limelight. In this fast and easy read, Huang brings to light what life on tour is really like.

My favorite character was Chelsea. She’s easy to relate to, and well grounded. That said, I took about half the book for me to connect with her. I attribute this to the character growth that happened during the last half of the book. She’s also the only character that felt full developed to me. In comparison to Chelsea’s vibrant voice, the other members of the band and side characters felt flat.

The romantic storyline to this seemed underdeveloped as well. I think this would have been just as enjoyable as a coming-of-age story without the weak romance. I just wasn’t feeling the chemistry between the two. Their relationship felt more like a friendship to me.

Despite the issues I have with the characters and the romance in this book, I still found it an entertaining read. I think it is a good coming-of-age story about friendships and being true to yourself. I would have liked to see the other members of the band be more developed. They felt very monotone and interchangeable for me. If you like contemporary YA fiction with a musical theme then you will most likely enjoy this book.

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three-half-stars

WHAT ARE YOU READING WEDNESDAYS #WAYRW58

WAYRW

What Are You Reading Wednesdays #WAYRW is a weekly feature here on It’s A Reading Thing. Everyone is welcome to participate. You can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post on your blog in the comments. You can grab the image above or create your own, just please make sure you link back to IART as the host for this meme.

How to participate:
Grab the book you are currently reading and answer three questions:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

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  1. The Drowning House by Elizabeth Black
  2. “Around her, I felt as though every minute was already full, that all the air in any room that contained us both had already been used up.”
  3. This book is set in Texas in the 90s so already lived in this world, just not in Texas.

How about you? What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments <3

Stay book nerdy & happy reading!

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{Save the Date} ThrillerFest XI

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CELEBRATING 11 YEARS

THRILLERFEST XI

RETURNS TO GRAND HYATT NEW YORK

JULY 5-9, 2016

Gillian Flynn, Heather Graham, John Lescroart, C.J. Box, Walter Mosley and more!

Remember that domestic thriller about a marriage of mayhem that jolted readers with its mind-bending twist? Gillian Flynn, who took the thriller world by storm in 2012 with her New York Times #1 bestseller Gone Girl, takes her deserved place among the ranks of the world’s greatest thriller writers at the International Thriller Writers’ (ITW) ThrillerFest XI July 5-9, 2016 in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.

 

In addition to special guest Gillian Flynn, Heather Graham will serve as the 2016 ThrillerMaster of the largest international gathering of fans and writers of the genre. Graham is the bestselling author of The Cafferty and Quinn series,The Krewe of Hunters series, and the Bone Island Trilogy. Graham also launched books for Dell’s Ecstasy Supreme line, Silhouette’s Shadows, and for Harlequin’s mainstream fiction imprint, Mira Books. Other spotlight guests include C.J. Box and Walter Mosley. John Lescroart will receive the 2016 Silver Bullet Award for his humanitarian work.

The thrills continue with two greatly anticipated events: CraftFest, where the best authors in the business share trade secrets with peers; and PitchFest, “speed-dating” with top agents, producers, and editors. Again this year the exciting addition to the ThrillerFest roster is CareerFest. Nestled into CraftFest, CareerFest focuses on marketing, promotion, and other career-related advice, such as determining the best publishing path, social media, expanding your visibility, and building your platform.

It all culminates with the 2016 ITW Thriller Awards Banquet, during which the awards for best original paperback, best hardcover, best debut novel, best eBook, best YA novel, and best short story will be finally revealed—a riveting climax to a sensational event.

Event highlights include:

·         Master CraftFest: Tuesday, July 5, a pre-ThrillerFest event that is a thriller writer’s dream come true. This intensive, one-day seminar features the bestselling masters of the craft: Steve Berry, David Corbett, Grant Blackwood, Andrew Gross, Meg Gardiner, Heather Graham, Richard Krevolin (screenwriting) and Gayle Lynds. Master CraftFest features small groups and personal instruction.

·         CraftFest: Called the greatest opportunity for professional growth at ThrillerFest, everyone from aspiring authors to published pros have the opportunity to improve their craft from the best in the business.

·         PitchFest: PitchFest changes writing careers with more than 60 agents waiting to discover the next hot talent. Writer John Beatty attended ThrillerFest/Pitchfest, found an agent and received a contract with a major New York publisher: “One of the things I love about PitchFest is how intense, time-efficient, and concentrated it was. I ended up pitching my story to 10 agents in one day. A few months later, we landed a contract with Disney Hyperion. Two years later, whenSerafina and the Black Cloak launched, it became a New York Times bestseller.”

·         CareerFest: A slate of industry insiders will help pave the road to publication. “Discoveries” this year include, Discover Indie Publishing from A to Z, Discover the Road to Hollywood, Discover the Road Map to Success in Traditional Publishing, Discover the Successful Author in You, and Discover How to Get an Agent and What to Do after You’ve Got One.

·         Today’s FBI: Crime Essentials for Writers.  Everything a writer ever wanted to know about the FBI but didn’t know whom to ask. Authors will hear from experts in cyber-crime, international terrorism, criminal investigation and much more.

·         ITW ThrillerFest Awards Banquet: The envelope please! Talent will be recognized on Saturday, July 9 when Thriller Nation assembles to shine a light on their brightest stars including 2011 ThrillerMaster R.L. Stine who will present the title to 2016 ThrillerMaster Heather Graham.

·         John Lescroart, Silver Bullet recipient: Will be honored for his humanitarian philanthropy at the Awards Banquet. Lescroart, a founding member of ITW and a New York Times bestselling author of legal thrillers, is known for his charitable work. He has donated funds from character-naming auctions to support libraries, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, diabetes research, the First Amendment Project, and many others. He’s also been involved in the Authors on the Move fundraiser for the Sacramento Public Library Foundation, and he donated $150,000 to the graduate program in creative writing at the University of California, Davis, even though UC Berkeley is his alma mater.

·         Cocktail parties: ThrillerFest is famous for opportunities to mix and mingle with the stars, get books signed and make new friends within the profession.

·         ThrillerFest panels, workshops, and lectures—oh my! Top authors and industry experts offer thought provoking commentary and instruction. Events Schedule

 

INTERNATIONAL THRILLER WRITERS is an honorary society of more than 3,700 authors in 42 countries with three billion books in print. One of the main purposes of the organization is to provide a way for successful, bestselling authors to help debut and midlist authors advance their careers. In addition, ITW promotes literacy, gives money to worthy organizations, supports libraries, and advances the genre.

To make a reservation for the suspense-inspired, five-day adventure, please visit www.ThrillerFest.com.

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WHAT ARE YOU READING WEDNESDAYS #WAYRW57

WAYRW

What Are You Reading Wednesdays #WAYRW is a weekly feature here on It’s A Reading Thing. Everyone is welcome to participate. You can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post on your blog in the comments section. You can grab the image above or create your own, just please make sure you link back to IART as the host for this meme.

How to participate:
Grab the book you are currently reading and answer three questions:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

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  1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  2. “Oh, my stars! Think about Prince Kai! You could dance with Prince Kai!”
    This made Cinder pause and squint into Iko’s blinding light. “Why would the prince dance with me?”
    Iko’s fan hummed as she sought an answer. “Because you won’t have grease on your face this time.”
  3. No, there seems to be this plague thing going around. Although, it would be cool to get dressed up and go to a ball.

How about you? What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments <3

Stay book nerdy & happy reading!

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{Book Blitz} Bullet Proof by Avery Flynn

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Title: Brazen
Series: B-Squad #1
Author: Avery Flynn
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: May 7, 2016
Format: Digital
ISBN: 978-0-9964-7632-4

Blurb: Falling in love is the easy part, staying together…now that’s the biggest challenge of all.

Everything is finally working out for Bianca Sutherland and Taz Hazard. They’re in love and running B-Squad Security and Investigations. They’ve planned the perfect operation to take down the dangerous drug kingpin who’s kidnapped one of Bianca’s best friends. Then Taz’s wife—who was supposed to be his ex-wife—shows up on the eve of the big rescue mission and threatens to blow up his and Bianca’s happily ever after.

The last thing Bianca wants after the revelation that Taz might still be married is to have to spend time with her former live-in boyfriend who never told her he’d ever been married in the first place. But it’s too late to change plans. To save her friend, she has to swallow her hurt and go undercover with Taz as a newlywed couple at an exclusive resort. The only thing Taz wants is Bianca and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to win her back. But when it’s his life on the line, will it be too late for him to show her that his past is over and she’s the only woman for his future…

Brazen is a stand alone novel and the first full novel in the B-Squad series. However, if you want to find out how Taz and Bianca met, check out Bulletproof, a novella set in Liliana Hart’s MacKenzie Security world.1.0 Brazen Cover

 Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

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Title: Bullet Proof (A Mackenzie Family Novella)
Series: B-Squad #.05
Author: Avery Flynn
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Format: Digital/Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-942299-30-1

Blurb: From Liliana Hart’s New York Times bestselling MacKenzie family comes a new story by best-selling author Avery Flynn…

“Being one of the good guys is not my thing.”

Bianca Sutherland isn’t at an exclusive Eyes-Wide-Shut style orgy for the orgasms. She’s there because the only clue to her friend’s disappearance is a photo of a painting hanging somewhere in Bisu Manor. Determined to find her missing friend when no one else will, she expects trouble when she cons her way into the party—but not in the form of a so-hot-he-turns-your-panties-to-ash former boxer.

Taz Hazard’s only concern is looking out for himself and he has no intention of changing his ways until he finds sexy-as-sin Bianca at the most notorious mansion in Ft. Worth. Now, he’s tangled up in a missing person case tied into a powerful new drug about to flood the streets, if they can’t find a way to stop it before its too late. Taking on a drug cartel isn’t safe, but when passion ignites between them Taz and Bianca discover their hearts aren’t bulletproof either.

Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo |

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About Avery Flynn:
Award-winning romance author Avery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip. Avery was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their ahem other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs.

You can also visit her online at the following places: Website Facebook | Twitter Goodreads

Excerpt One (Brazen):
Bianca wasn’t about to go on a rescue mission without her brass balls any more than she’d leave her SIG SAUER in the armory.

She picked up the giant jawbreaker-sized orbs of solid brass from the top of the dresser. As far as good luck charms went, they were a bit…unusual, but so was just about everything in her life. The light streaming into the bedroom from the skylights dotting the ceiling in the large open-concept loft reflected off the metal balls as she rolled them in the palm of her hand.

They were hard, eye-catching, and had an impenetrable surface that gave no hints about what was inside. Grinning to herself, she shook her head. They were just like the man who’d given her Iron Man’s nads as a gag gift for their six-month dating anniversary.

The shower turned off.

Temptation tugged at her. She checked the time on her phone.

They weren’t needed for the briefing for another thirty minutes and Taz hadn’t even begun to pack for the mission to rescue Gidget. Their equipment, guns and ammo were already stowed on the private jet that would leave in a few hours to take them to the Indulgence Resort. But unless he got packing, Taz would be buck naked while they were posing as the fabulously rich and newly married Trey and Bethany Alderson. While she loved having him like that, this was the last lead they had as to Gidget’s location and nothing could take priority over finding her.

Bianca wouldn’t fail her friend again.

Taz strolled out of the bathroom in a haze of steam. A white towel sat low on his hips and the wet ebony waves of his hair made his mossy-green eyes stand out even more than usual against his brown skin. The air of barely constrained danger and never-questioned dominance as natural to him as his confident strut when he crossed the open space toward her. She caught a glimpse of his full lips curled into a sexy smirk moments before he walked behind her as if he wasn’t thinking the exact same lusty thoughts that she was.

He could have her anyway he wanted and the cocky bastard knew it—but then again, the reverse was just as true.

They may not have shared their darkest secrets with each other, but all of those skeletons were in the past and they were about the future. Taz. Her. The B-Squad. She formed a fist around the good-luck brass balls. They’d find Gidget, destroy the drug kingpin and the world would be theirs. There was nothing standing in their way.

Taz wrapped a sinewy forearm around her waist, yanking her backwards against his hard chest. “It’s not polite to play with your balls so much.”

Desire licked her skin, making her feel as naked as he was. Water droplets from his chest dampened the back of her black tank top. Her mouth went dry. Her panties went wet. And her heart went into overdrive.

“Like you know anything about being polite,” she said, her voice breathy and low.

His fingers dropped to the button of her jeans. “I’d rather stick with what I’m good at.”

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STACKING THE SHELVES 6/4/16

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Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

That’s my haul for the last two weeks. Have you read any of the books featured here in my haul? Did you add any books to your shelves this week? Let me know in the comments! If you posted an StS post please leave your links in the comments so I can come and visit.

Happy Reading!

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WHAT ARE YOU READING WEDNESDAYS #WAYRW 56

WAYRW

What Are You Reading Wednesdays #WAYRW is a weekly feature here on It’s A Reading Thing. Everyone is welcome to participate. You can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post on your blog in the comments. You can grab the image above or create your own, just please make sure you link back to IART as the host for this meme.

How to participate:
Grab the book you are currently reading and answer three questions:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

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  1. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
  2. “I can turn to that day as though it were a page in a book. It’s written so deeply upon my mind I can almost taste the ink.”
  3. I’m not sure yet. I just started the book so I can’t tell if it is a world I would like to visit yet.

How about you? What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments <3

Stay book nerdy & happy reading!

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#Currently Reading & #Friday Reads 5/27/16

Happy Friday book nerds!

Here’s a quick little update on what I’m currently reading and my reading plans for this weekend.

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{Book Chat} The YA Fiction Stigma

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I’ve always been of the mind that a good story is a good story. I don’t care if it is middle grade, young adult, or adult fiction. I’ve noticed there seems to be quite a bit of stigma related to reading YA fiction in the Booktube and Blogger world lately. I really don’t get it. Does it really matter who the targeted audience is for a book as long as it is something you enjoy? What’s with the shaming people?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Reading is a very personal thing. There is no reason for anyone to be ashamed of what they like to read. Books are like music. You’re not always going to like what everyone else does. Which is totally fine. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel ashamed of what you enjoy reading, even if it is Fifty Shades of Grey. You all know how I can’t stand that book (yes I read all three books and I just about gouged my eyes out afterwards), but I will never judge someone for enjoying it. Hell whatever floats your boat in my opinion.

Personally, I’ve been judged for liking paranormal or contemporary romance. I don’t care. I read for me not anyone else. My reading tastes vary depending on my mood and if someone wants to be all judgmental about it that’s on them. So here’s to reading whatever the hell we want to because dammit we’re not here to read for anyone else but ourselves!

Have you ever been judged based on the books you read? What are your thoughts on the attitude change towards YA fiction? Let’s chat about this.

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WHAT ARE YOU READING WEDNESDAYS #WAYRW55

WAYRW

What Are You Reading Wednesdays #WAYRW is a weekly feature here on It’s A Reading Thing. Everyone is welcome to participate. You can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post in the comments down below. You can grab the image above or create your own, just please make sure you link back to IART as the host for this meme.

How to participate:
Grab the book you are currently reading and answer three questions:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

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  1. And I Darken by Kiersten White
  2. “You looked like you were about to fall asleep. I was worried you would drown.”
    “Well, thank you for preventing my drowning by pulling me under the water in an attempt to drown me.”
  3. No, I would not want to live in it. It is a fascinating world to visit through a book.  I just don’t think I would survive very long in it.

How about you? What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments <3

Stay book nerdy & happy reading!

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{Most Anticipated} Books Coming Out This Summer

There are so many great books coming out this summer that I want to add to my shelves. Some are endings to series I have been collecting and some are debuts. The books on my wishlist range from middle grade to adult fiction and vary in genres. What can I say? I’m pretty much all over the place with which books interest me. Here are some of the books that are on my radar for this summer.

(For more information click on the titles of the books to access the Goodreads pages)

The Last Star by Rick Yancy

So, I have the first two books but I haven’t read them yet. I’m one of those people that will at times collect a whole trilogy before I even pick up the first book from my shelf. What can I say? I love to binge read a series. I hate the whole waiting period between books. I really want to read this series though before I watch the movie.

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The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

This is the stunning conclusion to Justin Cronin’s The Passage Trilogy. I’m currently reading an advanced reader’s copy on my Kindle. I love love love this series! It’s so damn creepy! A post-apocalyptic world where humans struggle to survive while being hunted by virals. This is not just a horror series, it’s not just a dystopian or science fiction series either. It has all these elements, yes, but Cronin is definitely a literary writer. Digging deep beyond the horror of what is going on in the world he created, Cronin explores what it means to be human…literally and figuratively. It’s definitely a series that stays with you long past the reading of the final pages. I need a finished copy of this book. Justin Cronin is coming to Changing Hands in Tempe. I’m hoping I can get there to get a signed finished copy of this book and hopefully get my copies of the first two books signed as well.

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The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter

I have been waiting for a new Lords of the Underworld book for forever! Ok, not forever but it sure seems like it.

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The Girls by Emma Cline

This is a debut novel about a girl named Evie that finds herself fascinated with another girl named Suzanne. Evie finds herself drawn into a soon to be infamous cult lead by a charming and charismatic man. This book has been blurbed as perfect for fans of The Virgin Suicides. The part that caught my interest is that the cult in this book is based on the Manson Family.

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Enchanted Islands by Allison Amend

This is set in the  Galápagos Islands during the brink of World War II. Yeah, that was all I needed to  know. If you’ve been watching my BookTube videos, you know that lately I’ve been reading a lot of historical fiction set during World War II.

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The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury

The sequel to The Sin Eater’s Daughter. I have the first book on my Kindle. I have not read it yet. It has received many conflicting reviews, which just makes me even more interested to find out what I think about it. This second book though has been getting all kinds of raving reviews. Which I have to admit kind of scares me.

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26 Kisses by Anna Michels

This is a debut novel that is supposed to be both funny and heartbreaking. I have a feeling this one will have my FEELS all over the place. I do love me a good contemporary, especially during the summer.

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Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

“A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.” Aaaah heck yes! Sold right here please because I need to read this!

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The King Slayer by Virginia Boecker

I had no clue this was a sequel. I need to get my hands on the first book as well. It’s being pitched as perfect for fans of the Graceling and the Grisha Trilogy.

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And I Darken by Kiersten White

I received a review copy of this via NetGalley. I’ve seen this pitched as “What if Vlad the Impaler was a girl?” Yeah, you pretty much sold me there. This is next up on my TBR of ARC reads and I just know I’m going to want a finished copy of this one. Plus, look at that cover! So freakin’ gorgeous!

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Empire of Dust by Eleanor Herman

I believe this is the sequel to Legacy of Kings, which I have not read yet. It is definitely on my TBR and I’ve heard great things so…yes I want to read it soon!

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A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

This is the sequel to An Ember in the Ashes, which I totally loved. Elias is like everything in this series. I love his character so much. I need to know what will happen to him next.

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The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson

I believe this is going to be the final book in the series, at least I think it is just  a trilogy. I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book, sorry guys I saw that plot twist coming. However, I completely loved the second book and since it totally left me hanging I’m desperate to read the third book. Like NOW!

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So those are the books I can’t wait to get my hands on this summer. What about you? What books are you most anticipating? Let’s chat down below.

As always stay book nerdy & happy reading!

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{Book Chat} Books That Get All The Hype…

bookchat

I always feel like the odd man out when I end up not liking a book that everyone loves. I think this is why I always hesitate to pick up a book that gets a lot of hype. I want to love all the books, but lets just be realistic. That’s not going to happen.

When I finally give in and read the hyped up book and I end up loving it I feel great. I then proceed to push the book on just about anyone I know, like I did with Illuminae for instance. Then I get all…

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However, when I end up not loving a book everyone else does I end up feeling like maybe we read different books. It sucks, because then I end up feeling misled by all the raving reviews. It’s frustrating and CONFUSING AS HELL when this happens.

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My thought process when I run into this usually goes like this: I wonder if I missed something while I was reading. Were all the raving reviews about said book truly honest? I can’t possibly be the only person that doesn’t like said book. WHAT DID I MISS?!!!!

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It’s usually around this point that I get a bit slumpy and lose a bit of my reading momentum. I don’t want to pickup another book until I figure where I went wrong while reading the book in question. Sometimes, I even force myself to read it again. If I still don’t like it after that then I pretty much come to the conclusion that I didn’t get any of the punch that other people were drinking during their read. Which seems highly unfair, don’t you think?

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It’s entirely possible that everyone that raved about the book totally loved it. I know this. However, I also think that all the personal attacks towards bloggers that post a review that says the book is less than stellar has a lot to do with this. I don’t get it personally. Reading is a personal experience. Everyone is entitled to their opinion about a book. When it’s such a polar opposite though, that’s when I’m like “Okay wait a minute here, something doesn’t feel right.” Who knows, maybe I’m the only one that thinks this way.

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Let’s chat down in the comments and let me know what you think? If you are a blogger, do you hesitate to post reviews about books you do not enjoy? How do you feel about books that get all the hype?

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The Star-Touched Queen by

{Book Review} The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{Book Review} The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani ChokshiThe Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on April 26th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Retellings, Young Adult
Pages: 342
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon/Buy on B&N
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

My Thoughts:

There are times when you come across a book that is so beautifully written that when you finish it you’re just like words…need more of the WORDS! The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi is exactly that kind of book. The writing is just absolutely gorgeous and elegant. Chokshi creates a stunning world steeped in magic and folklore. You will not want to put this one down.

“I wanted a love as thick as time, as inscrutable as if a lathe had carved it from night and as familiar as the marrow in my bones. I wanted the impossible…”

Cursed with a horoscope that promises her marriage will be one of death and destruction, Maya has been shunned by her father’s kingdom. Accepting that love may not be in the cards for her, Maya is content to pursue the scholarly life. However, her world is turned upside down when her father, the Raja, decides to give her hand in marriage for political reasons. On the night she is to select her future husband her father hands her a vial of poison and advises her to drink it. Before she can go through with drinking the poison, a strange prince convinces Maya to join him as his queen.

Maya is a complex character. She’s vulnerable and strong…fierce and gentle. I loved seeing her interact with her little sister. It is very clear that their sisterly bond is powerful and one of the few loving relationships that Maya has in her life. On the other hand, Maya’s prince, Amar is a very stagnant character. I would have like to see his character developed more, he just felt very one dimensional for me. I would have liked to get to know him better, his thoughts, his secrets, what motivates him, etc.

This story has a Hades and Persephone feel to it, so it is sort of a re-telling of sorts. At least it feels that way to me. I did love the romance within this story. I like that it doesn’t have any love triangles or insta-love elements to it. The relationship between Maya and Amar is slow building. Maya does not trust her new husband, he has too many secrets that he withholds from her. Her inability to trust him keeps her from completely handing over her heart to him. Their love story is both heartbreaking and sweet.

All in all, I absolutely loved this book. The writing was wonderful and captivating. Maya is one of my favorite characters I have met so far this year. Although I had some issues with the lack of development for Amar’s character, this book did not disappoint. I found it hard to put down once I started it. Chokshi had my FEELS all over the place with this story and I can’t wait to read more from this author. I highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys fantasy that is steeped in mythology.

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four-half-stars

Coyer Summer Vacation Reading Challenge

COYER is hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading, Berls @ Fantasy Is More Fun and Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews Oh My! 

The sign up post will be open until August 1st. The COYER reading challenge will begin June 18th and end on September 2nd.

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{A Day in the Life of a Book Blogger} Silence on the Blog & the Creative Struggle

So if you visit my blog on a regular basis, you might have noticed I kind of disappeared for a bit. I didn’t put up any new content, or interact with anyone here on the blog. Anything that posted during the time I went MIA had already been pre-scheduled prior to my blogging slump.

I know it might not seem like it, since a lot of my content was lost about 5 months ago, but I’ve been blogging for about 4 years now. I started out on Blogger and after a year there I migrated over to my self-hosted Word Press blog. I love it, and all the customization I’m able to do on this platform. The downside though came around during one of the large updates that my host underwent, something in my WP got screwed up and well I lost my blog.

Years of content and hard work just went poof. I almost quit at that point because I was just so frustrated. I’m thinking that’s when the slump started. I stuck it out for a bit, but I was mainly doing memes and putting up the obligatory review post. It got to the point where just the idea of pulling up my blog would stress me out. I just felt so much pressure to do something that my heart just wasn’t into anymore. Which totally sucked! I love reading, blogging, and connecting with other readers.

It didn’t help that my creativity decided to just abandon me at that point. So there I was just sitting here stressing out about what to post and I finally decided that I wasn’t going to make myself do it anymore. I tossed my blogging schedule out the window…ok not literally, but you know what I mean. I knew if I continued to force myself to do something that I just wasn’t feeling, it would eventually come through in my posts. I didn’t want that to happen so I took a break and focused on other things.

I devoted my time to reading for pleasure instead of for the purpose of reviewing. I binged on TV shows on Netflix and picked up my first graphic novel (Jessica Jones Alias). I missed the book blogging world so much, but I was still not feeling a return of my creative side. I tried different platforms like a reading journal…yeah that lasted like one week. Then I started my BookTube channel. I began reconnecting with book lovers and slowly the urge to return to my blog rekindled again.

So am I back? I can’t say I’ll be posting on a daily basis, but yes I’m back. I’m going to commit to posting at least three times a week if I can. However, if I don’t manage that I’m also promising myself not to stress about it. Same goes for my BookTube channel. I’m committing to  posting twice a week there but if I get busy then, well life happens and all that.

There will be some changes on how I do my posts. I’m playing around with this until I find my creative style again. So for those you that have stuck it out, thank you. I’m so sorry I disappeared. I really think I just needed the break to be honest.

If you blog, how do you get out of a blogging slump? How do you deal with the pressure to post creative and unique content? Let’s chat about it below in the comments.

Hugs!

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