Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Upcoming Releases

Binding of Bindings #38: My Top 7 Anticipated February 2020 Book Releases

Why have a Top Ten when you can have a Top Seven?

 

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~* My 7 Anticipated February 2020 Book Releases *~

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1. What Kind of Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Release Date: February 4, 2020
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Mental Health

What Kind of Girl

If Alyssa B. Sheinmel writes something, I read it.

After she totally set my heart on fire with A Danger to Herself and Others, and made me weep to extinguish the flames, I have become a loyal reader of her mental health stories.

What Kind of Girl is about a girl who goes to her principal with a bruise on her face, expressing how her boyfriend hit her. But her fellow students don’t know what to believe. They find it odd that she went to the principal instead of the police, and that she stayed with her boyfriend even though he was hitting her.

This story is about the divide between a student body as they seek answers.

And in true Alyssa Sheinmel fashion, I just KNOW this is going to hurt me.

 

2. Malice by Pintip Dunn
Release Date: February 4, 2020
Genre: YA/Science Fiction

Malice

Time travel and the threat of mass murder?! Hell to the Yes.

Malice is a Sci-fi thriller about a girl named Alice who is contacted by her future self (Older SelfOS) and told that a student at her school will grow up to wipe out two-thirds of the population with a virus.

Apparently it’s filled to the brim with twists and blindsides, and there’s even a lovely romance to look forward to.

 

3. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (Book 1) by Holly Jackson
Release Date: February 4, 2020
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Mystery/Thriller

A Good Girls Guide to Murder

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder was already released in 2019, but it looks like it’s getting a re-release in anticipation for the release of it’s sequelGood Girl, Bad Blood.

Five years ago a girl named Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend Sal Singh, before killing himself. It seemed to be a closed case, but now as a senior at the same high school the two teens attended, Pip can’t shake the feeling that there was more to the famous tragedy that plagued her town.

As she dives deeper into the secrets surrounding the strange case, Pip quickly learns that there is someone in her town who doesn’t want her to know the truth.

Did somebody say….

Veronica Mars?!

 

4. All the Stars and Teeth (Book 1) by Adalyn Grace
Release Date: February 4, 2020
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Adventure/Pirates

All the Stars and teeth

Said to be for fans of SJM and Stephanie Garber, this series is packed with magic, adventure, mermaids and PIRATES!

All the Stars and Teeth is set in a world where seven islands represent that seven types of magic that a person is able to practice. Once a person chooses which form of magic they wish to study and master, they are then sent to that specific island.

But as the Princess of of Arida, Amora is expected to be a wielder of her Islands magic, Soul magic-the ability to read someones soul. But when she is tested to ensure she can handle the magic, she fails and is forced to flee. She then finds herself amid a pirate ship after striking a deal with a man named Bastian who claims he can help her reclaim her lost magic.

There seems to be A LOT to this story, and I am so excited to read it and get lost in this magical world.

 

5. Ember Queen (Ash Princess, Book 3) by Laura Sebastian
Release Date: February 4, 2020
Genre: YA/Fantasy

Ember Queen

The third and FINAL book in the Ash Princess trilogy!

For those of who who haven’t even started Ash Princess yet, it’s about Princess Theodosia as she is forced to live in the kingdom of the Kaiser who wiped out her ENTIRE kingdom when she was just a wee lass. She is forced to pretend to have forsaken her people, but really, girl is just waiting for the opportune moment to kick some ass.

(See my review for Ash Princess here)

In Ember Queen, she is free and has a rebel army following her in her quest to take down the new enemy: the new Kaiserin. With Prinz Søren as her hostage, she fights to prevail over the girl who she once considered family.

 

6. Together We Caught Fire by Eva V. Gibson
Release Date: February 11, 2020
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Romance

Together We Caught Fire

I am SUPER excited about this release, which I am starting this weekend!

A big thank you to Simon & Schuster for sending me an ARC of this little beauty, because it looks like it’s going to do a little heart ripping, and a little heart mending

Together We Caught Fire is a tale of forbidden love.

Lane Jamison has had a crush on Grey McIntyre for longer than she cares to admit. But seeing as how he is dating her friend Sadie Hall, she knows them being together isn’t possible. But when her father suddenly announces that he is engaged, she finds out that his soon to be wife is the mother of none other than Grey McIntyre.

So when Grey and his mother move in, there is no denying the attraction building between Lane and Grey. But knowing that her feelings are forbidden, Lane turns to Sadie’s older brother Connor in the hopes of a distraction and a way to move on.

So ensues a tangle of emotions, a girl torn between two guys, and a whole bunch of messiness in between!

 

7. The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
Release Date: February 25, 2020
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Romance

The Shadows Between Us

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

In The Shadows Between Us, Alessandra is trying to kill the Shadow King in order to take the throne for herself. Though nobody really knows the true extent of the power that he possesses, Alessandra isn’t the only one plotting his murder. As multiple attempts on the Kings life are taken, Alessandra finds herself keeping him alive until he can make her his Queen.

But in true YA Fantasy/Romance fashion, nothing EVER goes as planned.

 

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Stay Witchy

 

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Binding of Bindings · Books · Reviews

Binding of Bindings #2: My Top 10 Best Books of 2018

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Happy Friday my lovely bookworms!

We are back with another weekly Binding of Bindings and showcasing my favorite reads from 2018, in a big black cauldron of Yes, YES, YESSSS!

Servings: 10

Read Time: 80-100 Hours

Book Hangover Time: Eternity

Calories: 0 (Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, and Gluten-Free)

Ingredients: Magic, tears, humor, anxiety, love, adventure and a royal or two

Directions:

  1. Start by opening your spell books to page 394
  2. Grease your cauldron with the heart of a Villain, and preheat to 975 degrees.
  3. In a large bowl add your dry ingredients: 1/4 Cup of Historical Fiction, 1 Cup of Adventure and 1 heaping Tablespoon of sarcasm. Mix together thoroughly.
  4. Add 4 cups of Fantasy and 1 Pound of fresh Young Adults.
  5. Stir in a handful of Science Fiction and a sprinkle of sadness and regret.
  6. Now carefully fold in your 2 cups of mini spells and curses, and maybe even a zombie (optional).
  7. Pour the mixture into your cauldron and stir rapidly until sparks fly and it begins smoking.

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Garnish your dish with mischief and a curse, and VOILA:

My Top 10 Best Books of 2018

 

  1. The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

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The obvious place to start is at the most morbid one.

Did I say morbid? I meant soul-crushing.

This book is all the feels and the most brutal of my 10. It’s the story of how a girl lives the rest of her high school years after being raped one night. The reader follows Eden as she struggles to come to terms with what happened, and while she seeks to find a way to relieve her pain.

Clear a day and night for this read. You’ll need it.

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2. Along the Indigo by Elsie Chapman

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Along the Indigo is intriguing, unique and BEGS to be read. It’s slightly unorthodox in that the main character skims dead bodies and lives in a brothel.

HEAR ME OUT!

It sounds a little weird, but its actually a hidden-gem and something I guarantee you haven’t read before. It’s a about a sixteen-year-old girl named Mars who seeks to leave her small town with her sister. Down by their home there is the covert where townspeople go to commit suicide, and where Mars skims bodies for money to escape. It sounds strange I know, but it will forever be one of my favorite YA books. You can check out my review for Along the Indigo here.

3. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

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A 2018 FAVORITE of MANY readers, The Wicked Deep is the perfect witchy story. The legend goes that three sisters were drowned by the townspeople of Sparrow in the early 1800’s, and each Swan Season three girls are inhabited by one of the sisters who seek their vengeance by drowning a boy each. A witch-hunt ensues, there is possession and mystery, and eve a little love. It’s a MUST read. You can see my review here for more info.

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4. Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

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Deception, royals, torture, death, rebellion and crowns made of ash?

Um…YES PLEASE!

Ash Princess is the first in this amazing trilogy, and I know I’m not alone when I say I can barely stand waiting for book 2! It’s about a Princess who’s country was invaded when she was child, her parents were killed in front of her and she was enslaved by her conquerors. Years later, she is used as a trophy for the Kaiser to show his people (and hers) that he won. It is a tale of rebellion, and of brutality. Buckle in for this one! You can also see my review here for more!

5. Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

I can’t believe it’s over!!

I devoured five of the seven books in this series in 2018, and I have read through them twice more to prepare me for the last two. This series is EVERYTHING a Fantasy addict could hope for in a series. A badass female assassin with a pension for stabbing people, magic, Fae, demons, WITCHES! This series did not disappoint, and all I am left with is a sadness and hole in my chest because it’s over….and I’ll never be the same.

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6. The Lone City series by Amy Ewing

the lone city series

I know I mentioned this series in my last post. It’s only because it is THAT amazing. The Handmaid’s Tale meets the YA world in ball gowns and rebellions. It’s a vicious, vicious world in The Lone City, so bring your battle-gear readers! You guys won’t be able to stop yourselves from annihilating these books. They’re just amazing.

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7. Dead Dog (Zombie Dog series, Book 2) by Doug Goodman

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I was SO lucky to have received this second book in the Zombie Dog series from Doug Goodman! This series is great for the readers who love books set in the wilderness, and who also love science fiction. It’s all about a young woman who formally trained dogs to be Cadaver Dogs (to find dead bodies), but who now works with her lead dog Murder to hunt zombies. But these aren’t those virus-ridden drooling zombies. These are wasps who have attached to the heads of humans, and who are reproducing at a rapid rate.

Scared?

You should be.

See my review here.

8. Quelling (The Purification Era, Book 2) by Angie Grigaliunas

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*Le Sigh*

If there was one book I could describe as making me happy cry EVERY TIME I read it, it would be this book and this series.

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I was SO lucky to have been able to Beta/Alpha read this book, especially because I needed to know what happened. This books follows two sisters, with two very different outlooks on their governments. One appears to be meek and trust her superiors without question, while the other hates them and joins a rebellion to end their control. This book has a feel of The Handmaid’s Tale, but is completely of its own uniqueness.

This is not a recommendation. This is an order. Buy these books.

Click here for my review!

9. The Quantum Ghost (The Quantum Worlds, Book 2) by Jonathan Ballagh

the quantum ghost

This is the second book in a series, but can be read as a stand-alone. The main character is a young child, but it is a great read for any age! It is all about traveling into a parallel dimension and fighting evil androids who have taken over humans. It is EXCITING and it is so incredibly enjoyable. See my review here for more information.

 

10. In The Company of Wolves (Of Witches and Werewolves, Book 2) by Cory Barclay

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If you have noticed from my reviews and posts, I don’t get around to reading too many Historical Fictions. Thankfully I gave this series a shot, because it is SPECTACULAR. The writing is fantastic, the characters are well-formed, and it twists a little fact with fiction. This series starts at the height of religious reformation in Europe in 1589, and is based on an ACTUAL trial that was held for a man called the Werewolf of Bedburg, who was accused of murder and cannibalism. This series snowballs into something truly fantastic, and I am so excited to read book three in 2019!

 

With that, ladies and gents, I give you my Top 10 Best and Favorite books of 2018!

I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did.

Until next time, stay Witchy 😉

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*Warning: Severe weight loss may occur from the devouring of these books due to the raw emotions they may induce. Please do not operate heavy machinery after reading these books. Please do not mix books, as this may become lethal. In case of an emergency, please dial 9-1-1 dispatch*

*Don’t actually dial 9-1-1 dispatch*

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Netgalley · New Releases · Reviews

Book Review: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

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Amazon.com – Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Goodreads.com – Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Banresandnoble.com – Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Bookdepository.com – Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Random House Children’s – Delacorte Press, via NetGalley for an honest review.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Plot: Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

Opinion:

Though I DID read this MONTHS ago, I didn’t review it right away, which in turn has caused me to re-read it so that I could properly refresh myself.

So, my review for Ash Princess…better late than never, right?!

10 years ago, Princess Theodosia Eirene Houzzara’s country was invaded by the Kalovaxians. Her people were slaughtered and enslaved, her home overrun by her enemy, and her mother’s throat was slit before her eyes. Now at sixteen, Theodosia wears a new name, Thora the Ash Princess. She now lives among the people that brought destruction upon her kind, the Astreans, and endures torment and abuse to just live another day. But life as the Ash Princess doesn’t come without it’s catches. Her best friend is a Kalovaxian named Cress who is the daughter of the Theyn, the man that killed Theodosia’s mother; she is whipped and beaten by order of the Kaiser when rebel Astrean groups attack, and she is guarded at all times to ensure that she stays loyal to her enemy. But everything changes when the Kaiser forces Thora to kill a man from her childhood, a man loyal to her mother. Soon Thora finds herself in a position to strike against the Kaiser, and to exact revenge on the people that stole everything form her. But sometimes not everything is fair in love and war, and Theodosia must make a choice when it comes to what she thinks is right.

My mother was known as the Fire queen, regal and strong. But I am the Ash Princess, a living joke.” – Thora, Ash Princess

Okay guys, Check. This. Out.

If any of you know me, you know that I LOVE a great fantasy read about royals and a little bloodshed. It just makes my blood thrum with happiness! Ash Princess does just that by giving the reader a little romance, suspense, turmoil, a question of morals vs. karma, magic, and of course some killing to keep in interesting. This is definitely a story you will have no problem devouring and speeding through, but be warned that it might feel a little “young” depending on your age/preference (despite the killing, etc.) which I will get into in a moment.

Firstly, more about this story! Theodosia (Thora) is sixteen years old and living in her palace that the Kaiser and the Kalovaxians took over ten years prior. After Theodosia’s mother was killed, the Kaiser gave Theo the choice to die or live amongst her enemy. She chose to live, thus thrusting her into the lions’ den and leading a life pretending to hate her own people. The Kaiser is a brutal man who takes what he wants and has no remorse for what he does. He uses Theo as a tool against the Astreans by publicly whipping and beating Theo every time rebel groups try to fight against the Kalovaxians.

When the reader is first introduced to Theodosia, she is living as Thora the Ash Princess. Thora is a timid, meek and subservient girl. Her spirit is broken, and she seems to have given up on ever being rescued and freed from her cage. Though she does have a friend in the palace, Cress, it is still a friend she can’t speak freely to. She is forced to censor herself and put on an act to show the Kaiser that she is loyal to the Kalovaxians, and it is truly sad to read. But what I liked about Thora was that even when she had metaphorically locked Theodosia away, there were still moments where she showed the reader that she hadn’t completely lost herself.

‘“You requested my presence, your highness?” I ask, dropping into a curtsy so deep I am flat against the ground. Even after a decade, my bones still protest the posture. My body remembers-even when the rest of me forgets-that I am not made for curtsying.’ – Thora, Ash Princess

But after the Kaiser forces Thora to kill one of her own, things start to change drastically.  Thora finds herself among rebels that want to rescue her, but instead she makes the decision to stay and work as a spy. Now I can’t go in to too much more detail because I don’t want to give away the good stuff, but I CAN tell you guys about this little romance we have brewing!

Insert: A Love Triangle. Or…is it?

Soren, the Prinz of the Kalovaxians and the son of the cruel Kaiser. He has just come back from apprenticing under the Theyn for 5 years, and APPARENTLY he is a legendary and fierce warrior. Soren proves to be the opposite of his father, and seems like he might genuinely care about changing the world. Blaise is our other male in this triangle, and he is an Astrean who grew up with Theodosia. As part of the rebels plan for Theo, she must basically make the Prinz fall in love with her. Of course along the way some true feelings arise between Theo and the Prinz, but not without some moments happening between Theo and Blaise as well. I can honestly say guys, I am TORN on this one. Usually I ALWAYS favor one character over the other, but I don’t in this story! Will she choose Blaise? Will she choose Soren?? Well I don’t know, because the author left me with this annoyingly HUGE cliffhanger!

Now there is also some magic that is happening in this story. For the Astreans, Spritgems were sacred gems that made up the four elements: Fire, Air, Earth, Water. The gems would give the wielder an extra boost of power to use with their magical element, and were considered very sacred. A select few Astreans would spend years in temples praying to their gods in order to be blessed. Some would be blessed with powers and become guardians, while others would go mad. Once the Kalovaxians took over, they forced the remaining Astreans into the mines to mine for the Spiritgems, while disgracing their beliefs and using the gems as jewelry. Wicked, right? Of course, our poor Theo was forbidden to be around any sort of gems. But if you are wondering why this poor girl is called the “Ash Princess”, the obvious reason is this: the Kaiser forces Thora to wear a crown of ashes every time they throw a party. Now if that isn’t the most legendary and cruel symbol of someone destroying your entire life and forcing you to show it off, I don’t know what is.

The only qualms I have with this story are this: it feels a little TOO young at times, and some things aren’t fully explained. Now I know that our main character is sixteen, but there are some HEAVY things happening in this story that make this character grow up fast. My issue is that Theo, Blaise, and a few of the other characters act and speak in such an adolescent way…that I found myself getting confused. The author is pulling me back and forth between them being mature, and not mature, and I am just not sure which direction I should be going in. If this supposed to be a YA read, or a Teen YA read?

My other small problem is the author not fully explaining things, or not fully building up moments. For example: Blaise tells Theo that she always gets a certain look on her face when she is about to do something rebellious. Theo retorts that he can never stop her anyways. As the reader, I don’t recall this happening much at all? I feel like I am being told something rather than just coming to that conclusion on my own. Another example is when it is said that Soren is a legendary warrior. This seems so shocking to me because I can’t help but imagine Soren as a teenage boy, not a fierce and feared man. There was no context that proves he should be anything else than what I am visualizing, so it left me a bit confused.

Those things aside, I think this is a really great read. I am sitting her twiddling my thumbs waiting for the next book, which I know will be a while from now. Sorry for that LONG ass review, but there was just so much to talk about! Though I did have a few annoyances while reading Ash Princess, I wholeheartedly recommend it if you love YA/Fantasy reads. I am a sucker for anything with royalty and fantasy, so if you are the same then you will REALLY enjoy this book.

4-stars

 

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