Book Promo · Books · New Releases · Release Blitz · The Parliament House Press

Release Day Blitz: Stolen (Book #1) by Marlena Frank

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Publisher: The Parliament House
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Book Title: Stolen
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Series: Stolen Series, Book #1
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Author: Marlena Frank
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~*~ Release Day Blitz ~*~

RELEASE DAY!!!!

Stolen, Book 1 in the Stolen series, is a YA Fantasy dripping in Alice in Wonderland and Wizard of Oz themes! It follows a young girl who is thrust into a magical land and forced to compete in a game in order to prove that she is the reincarnation of a powerful magician.

It has a ton of magical creatures and beautiful world building! Be sure to look out for my review of Stolen, which will be up in a few hours!

~Click here to purchase a copy!~

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There is also a GIVEAWAY for a chance to win a Maur Plushie and an E-Book of Stolen!
Head over to me Bookstagram to enter! ❤
@JenacideByBibliophile

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Book Synopsis

It’s difficult taking care of a delusional father by yourself. Sixteen-year-old Shaleigh Mallet would rather explore and photograph dilapidated buildings than cater to her father’s dark episodes. But when she’s kidnapped by a creature who carries her atop a flying bicycle into another world, she realizes this wasn’t the escape she wanted.

In a kingdom known as the Garden, where minotaurs pull carriages and parties are held in hot air balloons, Madam Cloom and her faerie servant, Teagan, rule over the land with incredible but terrifying magic. Shaleigh must prove that she is the reincarnation of a long-dead ruler, not because she believes it, but because it’s her only chance to survive. With the help of a trespassing faerie, a stoatling, and a living statue, Shaleigh hopes to outwit everyone. She aims to break the bonds of servitude and finally make her way home. What she doesn’t realize, however, is that she’s playing right into the hands of a far worse enemy…

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Social Media Tags:
Instagram: @authorlenafrank , @theparliamentpress
Twitter: @MarlenaFrank , @Parliamentbooks
Facebook: Marlena Frank – Author , The Parliament House
Website: http://MarlenaFrankAuthor.com/

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books

Binding of Bindings #18: 14 Summer Reads

It’s that time of year again, darlings.
Beach trips, sunscreen, bonfires and bathing suits.
I know you’ve been waiting for this

So grab those parasols and beach towels,
those water bottles and snack bags!
Summer is coming.

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~* 14 Summer Reads *~

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Yes, 14.
Because 15 would make too much sense.

 

1. The 1-800-Where-R-You series by Meg Cabot

The 1-800-Where-R-You series is one of my FAVORITES! I have been reading these books once a year for YEARS. I don’t think I will ever tire of them.

The series follows Jess Mastriani, a teenage girl who has a pension for hitting arrogant guys in the face and landing in detention.

A true hero, if you ask me.

On her way home from school one day, she is struck by lightning. The next day she discovers that she has an ability to find missing children, all she needs to do is see a picture of the child, go to sleep, and the next day she will know where they are.

This series is dark, adventurous, HILARIOUS and is even dripping in a nicely drawn-out romance with a bad-boy biker stud!

Commence the swooning.

 

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I mean…do I even need to explain this series?!?

The Hunger Games is a PERFECT read for Summer! Survival skills, hunting, murder, elegant gowns and death Death DEATH!

It’s a Dystopian series where each year one boy and girl from each of the 12 districts is offered up as tribute in the Hunger Games. It’s a fight to the death, and only one may come out as victor. Katniss is thrown into the games with little chance of surviving, but her time in the game will change the nation of Panem forever.

If you’ve never read these books and seen the movies, read these.

If you’ve never read the books OR seen the movies, read these.

You know what, just read these again.

You know you want to.

 

3. The Purification Era series by Angie Grigaliunas

If you guys still haven’t taken my glorious advice and read this series, then…

Just kidding

It follows two sisters who live in a place where Hulcondans rule over the people as their protectors, but also use their power as a means to get what they want. For Rabreah, the Hulcondans are corrupt and need to be taken down. But for Ariliah, they are who she trusts without a doubt.

This series switches back and forth between the girls as their lives are thrust into chaos. Rabreah joins the rebel group to take the Hulcondans down, while Ariliah puts all of her trust and faith into them. These books are ADDICTING, will make you cry, and make you fall madly in love.

(The series DOES center on threats of rape and in a world where men take advantage of women, but there are no graphic scenes)

 

4. One Moment by Kristina McBride

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After a traumatic accident that leaves her boyfriend Joey dead, Maggie finds herself unable to remember the final moments that lead up to his death. Maggie remembers spending the day at the gorge with her childhood friends and boyfriend, and she even remembers climbing up the trail with him to jump off the cliff together. But for some reason, everything else is a blank.

The typical summer read.

Friends hanging out together, young love, death.

This one is mildly depressing, so hold on to those teenage hearts!

 

5.  Holes by Louis Sachar

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An AMAZING movie, and an even better read!

I just included this in my “YA Reads for the Young YA” a few weeks ago, which made me watch the movie again. And honestly…

It NEVER gets old!

Stanley Yelnats believes the men in his family are cursed, why else would he have been sent to Camp Green Lake? There isn’t even a lake! After Stanley is unjustly caught stealing, he is sentenced to the camp in order to “build character“, by way of digging holes. But soon Stanley realizes that the boys at Camp Green Lake aren’t just digging holes to “build character“, and that the truth behind the curse on his family may be at the bottom of a hole.

 

6. The Shadow Falls series by C.C. Hunter

This series is just DRIPPING in all those dreamy summer camp vibes!

But these teens aren’t your typical camp goers. Werewolves, vampires, witches, faeries and shapeshifters are here to train and harness their powers. So why is Kylie sent there? A young girl learns that she is more than what she seems, all the while stuck in a love triangle with a half-fae named Derek and a werewolf named Lucas.

I’d suggest just buying the entire series at once. Don’t do what I did and only buy book 1 first.

Trust me, regret will follow.

 

7. With Malice by Eileen Cook

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When Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room she doesn’t remember being in; or even coming to for that matter, she quickly becomes panicked. Not only does she learn that she had been involved in a terrible car accident, but she soon realizes that she cannot remember the past six weeks of her life. But when Jill learns that she was the driver of the car accident that killed someone else, she rushes to find out what really happened.

This has the Amanda Knox trial ALL over it!

It’s a great story to get lost in this Summer that centers on a trip to Italy, and two best friends. It is sinister and honestly pretty messed up, but it is SO good!

 

8. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

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So I haven’t yet read The Help, but I am BEYOND obsessed with the movie and have watched it dozens of times!

It is set in Mississippi in 1962 where black women work as maids in white households, earning very little and being treated horribly by most. The story is told by three women – Skeeter a young white woman with dreams of becoming a writer, and Aibileen and Minney who work as maids in white homes.

The three women come together to tell their tale of life from the maids perspective. To shed light on how they are treated at work, and in their personal lives.

The movie is BEYOND powerful, and I can only assume the book will be even more so!

 

9. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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We Were Liars is the epitome of a YA Mystery doused in wealth and privilege. It is the coming-of-age story with a little bit of everything – innocence, love, family, tragedy, greed, heartbreak and of course…lies.

Coming from a family of old-money and pride, the “Four Liars” and their families spend every summer on Harris Sinclair’s privately-owned retreat. However, during Summer Fifteen (summer + current age of the Liars) Cadence was found alone on the beach, half-naked, and nearly underwater with a serious head injury that resulted in her losing her memory of what happened. For the next few years Cadence spends her time suffering from terrible migraines, taking painkillers, and no memory of most of Summer Fifteen. Now two years later, she is finally returning to Beechwood after her accident to be reunited with her liars and to find out what really happened to her that summer.

It is SO hard to not get lost in this creative and secretive story, and the writing is superb:

Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. I was standing on the lawn and I fell. The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed. Blood gushed rhythmically from my open wound, then from my ears, my mouth.
It tasted like salt and failure. The bright red shame of being unloved soaked the grass in front of our house, the bricks of the path, the steps of the porch. My heart spasmed among the peonies like a trout.
Mummy snapped. She said to get hold of myself.
Be normal, now, she said. Right now, she said.”

 

10. The Walking Shadows series by Talis Jones

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Alarum is the PERFECT Dystopian Western to tear your heart out over the Summer! It’s Mad Max meets Wild Wild West, and it is EVERYTHING!

The U.S. has fallen, and in its wake is a lawless country. Children have been ripped from their families, pushed into Corrals, trained to be soldiers and slaves, and then sold to the highest bidder. This story follows a girl with many names, as she traverses this new world and tries to make sense of it.

 

11. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

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This story was required reading in fourth grade, and it was one of the few books my entire class actually enjoyed being forced to read. It’s sweet and innocent, but also gives the reader insight into how important this one life is!

This is a story of a family who will live forever due to drinking from a magical spring, and a young girl who happens upon the youngest son of the family while he drank from it. It is a tale of romance, but most importantly, a story of choice: to live forever or to simply live.

It is a great story for all ages, and one with a fantastic and beautiful message.

 

12. Along the Indigo by Elsie Chapman

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I am a serious obsession with this book, and I think it’s mostly due to how incredibly weird it is. 

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, which is a boarding house that serves Johns (yes, you know what I mean) there is the covert where townspeople go to commit suicide, and where Mars skims bodies for money in hopes of escaping.

It’s different, it’s dark, but it’s lined with a sunshiny innocence that makes it feel almost normal. It sounds strange I know, but it feels like an “old-timey” read that will instantly hook you.

It will forever be one of my favorite YA books.

 

13. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

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This was another required reading in school, but one with a VERY powerful message.

In is set in South Carolina in 1964, and is about a young white girl named Lily Owens who is distraught by the death of her mother. She is raised by her abusive father T. Ray and her stand in mother and maid, Rosaleen. When Rosaleen gets put into jail for “disrupting” three white men, Lily helps break her out and they run away. They eventually come to stay with three black bee-keeping sisters, where she is taught valuable lessons and the truth about her mother. 

It is a necessity for every mother and daughter to read, but should be required reading for EVERYONE! It’s a feel-good story, and a GEM of a book!

 

14. The Folk of the Air series by Holly Black

I saved this series for last, because you all already know that you need to read it!

I know a lot of you are waiting to start the series once the release date for book 3 gets closer, and might I just say…you’re a bunch of smart cookies!

Because this series is devastation.

My heart was torn out, and I’m still sitting here hyperventilating while I try to stuff it back into my chest and sew it up.

It follows a human named Jude who lives in Faerie with her sister and the murderer of their parents. She is ridiculed and tortured by the Fae, especially by the youngest Prince of the High Court and his minions. Usually choosing to be meek and keep her head down, Jude decides to fights to win a place at court. But she realizes that the politics and deceptions in the inner circle might just be more than she bargained for.

This is a DARK, DEPRESSING, GRITTY, and CRUEL Fae tale, so guard your loins.

Enjoy the series this summer if you do plan on reading, and I’ll keep you in my thoughts as you suffer through these books and then wait for book 3, like me.

Until then

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What books are you guys planning on reading this summer? Any from this list?!
Let me know!
As always, stay witchy! ❤

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Netgalley · Reviews

Binding of Bindings #10: 18 Female Authors You’ve Probably Never Heard of

Friday may be the Binding of Bindings day, but Women Day is EVERY day!
LADIES!
Put those stomping boots and heels on, push the hair out of your face and don’t even bother to look like anything other than the complete BADASS that you are!
We’re stepping out of the shadows and landing SMACK dab in the middle of the book hierarchy!

We came to obliterate the competition with style and flawlessness.
We came to show these guys JUST how we do things!

These women take no prisoners, get the job done THEMSELVES, and DEFINITELY don’t need any Heroes to save them.
Welcome to the Sheroes!

Step aside lads, the women are taking over this post.

18 Badass Female Authors

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1. Maggy Farrell

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Guilt Trip is a YA/Adult Paranormal Suspense story about a sixteen-year-old girl named Melissa. After surviving in a car accident where her mother perished, she travels with her father to the English countryside on holiday.

Strange things start to happen by way of a woman screaming for help, and unexpected visions. But let me tell you one thing about this story, you will NOT expect what happens. If you love a good blindside, read this story!

You won’t be disappointed!

(See my review here)

 

2. Angie Grigaliunas

Are you guys tired of me talking about this series yet?

Too bad.

This series just might be everything your feminist heart desires…or…despises?

It follows two sisters who live in a place where Hulcondans rule over the people as their protectors, but also use their power as a means to get what they want. For Rabreah, the Hulcondans are corrupt and need to be taken down. But for Ariliah, they are who she trusts without a doubt.

This series is AMAZING and one i have become utterly obsessed with! These two female characters transform into strong and fierce characters who you will fall in love with. There is danger, murder and a TON of mind games.

Though I think Angie Grigaliunas is trying to kill me with this series, I still love her.

(See my review for book 1 here and book 2 here)

 

3. C.L. Clark

C.L. Clark is one of the first authors I had the pleasure of working with!

She has a knack for the ghostly Thriller/Suspense stories, and knows just how to pull the reader in and keep them interested until the last page.

Opening the Veil is about a young woman named Cassie as she delves into her new talent of being able to speak to spirits. But then she discovers that a paranormal entity is using her neighbor as a puppet while it goes on a killing spree. The series continues with A Brighter Light and tracks Cassie as she learns to hone her abilities and help spirits move on.

I have not yet read Staring Into Darkness, but it is on my TBR list and I am excited to get to it! It is a collection of ghost mysteries that promise to give a little spook and a lot of thrill!

(See my review for Opening the Veil here)

 

4. T.L. Schaefer

T.L. Schaefer has MANY books, so I am just going to give you the covers of the four that I know the best.

The C.A.S.I. series, Behind Blue Eyes and Shoot to Thrill, are a few favorites of mine that I read some odd years ago. It follows crime-scene photographer Sara Convington as she tracks a serial killer and works to catch him before his next killing. The series is SO exciting and there is even a little romance involved, if you like that sort of thing.

The C.A.S.I series is a great suspense thriller with a badass female lead. There’s just NOTHING better than a woman that is intelligent and can kick some ass!

(See my review for book 1 here and book 2 here)

5. H.A. Leuschel

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H.A. Leuschel is the QUEEN of combining psychology and fiction short stories!

Her book Manipulated Lives has five stories that each showcase how people can be manipulated by others and how to deal with it. These stories touch on abuse, narcissism, overbearing parents, first love, and even friendship and acceptance.

This collection is so beautiful and breathtaking. You will read through it so fast, but try to savor every story and every moment!

(See my review here)

 

6. Kathleen Valenti

Did you guys see my review for As Directed?

It was…SPECTACULAR!

This author writes in a way that is just perfectly dramatic and snarky, it feels like poetry for the reader that loves when sentences are explained in creative ways rather than just saying someone turned around and breathed.

I was given As Directed in exchange for a review, and yes, it is book three in the series. I HAVEN’T read books one or two, but I am most definitely planning on doing so.

As I said in my review, Kathleen Valenti is my new favorite suspense/mystery/thriller writer.

(See my review for As Directed here)

 

7. Talis Jones

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Okay…I haven’t read this yet…

But don’t you judge me!

I was gifted this story by Talis Jones in exchange for an honest review, and i am hoping to make it my next read. It’s got the dystopian/wild-wild-west vibes and is set in the future after the U.S. has fallen. It follows a girl as she tries to navigate this new world…and that’s honestly all I know.

This one is REALLY shrouded in mystery, but I am really liking that aspect of it. It seems like MANY writers are leaving their book descriptions vague, but that just makes them more alluring. I can’t wait to find out what happens, and judging from a few Goodreads reviews, some unexpected things are going to take place!

8. Meg Anne

The Chosen series is a Paranormal Fantasy about a girl named Helena who is plucked from her simple life and told she is the prophesized ruler of the Chosen, those who are blessed with magic and powers.

I have read the first book in the series and have the next three on my long, long list of books. Helena is a fierce, badass female lead who you will absolutely fall for. The best part is, she turns into this fearsome demonic all-powerful queen.

Um….to die for!

(See my review for Book 1 here and Book 2 here)

9. Rebecca L. Carpenter

I JUST mentioned Butterfly Bones in my YA Reads for the Young YA post last week, but i am still going to mention it again!

Rebecca Carpenter has come up with SUCH a unique and beautiful concept for these books, and i can’t believe more people don’t know about them! The Metamorphosis series is about a ril named Bethany who was born with a rare bone disorder that keeps her body from growing. Though she is a teenager, she physically looks like a child. The story is about how her father is trying to find a cure for her by using butterfly hormones, and how Bethany goes through social situations with her condition.

Though this story sounds like a Fiction/YA/Contemporary…it is…but it isn’t.

It transforms into this beautiful fantasy story that is both heartbreaking and sweet.

Do your inner child a favor and read these.

(See my review for Book 1 here)

 

10. T.S. Pettibone

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T.S. Pettibone is the pen name for identical twin sisters Bittany and Nicole. Together they wrote the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Hatred Day series, and is set in 2052. Hatred Day marks the day when Earth was inhabited by an alien race that eventually lead to an environmental uproar. As an Inborn, Snofrid and her people are enslaved by the alien race, but worst of all, she wakes up with her memories stolen.

The first book in the series was AMAZING and I have been patiently waiting for the release of book two. I am not sure when it will be released, but i am hoping it will be soon. The Pettibone sisters possess such creative minds to come up with this world, and i thank them SO much!

  If you are as obsessed with this cover, and with a post-apocalyptic style of world where everyone is in gas masks, please read this.

(See my review here)

 

11. Cyndy Drew Etler

Ready for something heavy?

The Dead Inside is a true story about author Cyndy Etler’s experience in a “tough love” camp run by Straight, Inc. The camps were drug rehabilitation centers for troubled and out-of-control youths, and were extremely popular during between the late 70’s and early 90’s. Many of the children and young adults brought to these camps weren’t even on drugs, but were sent there because their parents didn’t have any way of dealing with them.

The experiences in these camps were both horrendous and shocking. Countless reports of physical and mental abuse have been reported during and since the closure of the camps, which can be found at http://survivingstraightinc.com/

The Dead Inside is Cyndy’s story of her time in one of these camps, and We Can’t Be Friends is the story of her struggles in society and her own mind after being released. It is almost unfathomable to know that this story is true, but I am so grateful to have been able to read it.

(See my review for Book 1 here)

 

12. Kelsey Sutton

Gardenia is another great story that barely anyone has heard of, and I HAVE NO IDEA WHY!

The reason I love Kelsey Sutton is because she is gifted with a mind that comes up with the most CREATIVE ideas for books, see below:

Main Character Ivy has the ability to see the “countdown clocks” over everyone’s head, which indicated when that person will die. Though she has tried to save lives, she has never been successful and her own impending death is just on the horizon. But then girls start disappearing, and everyone begins to pint the finger at Ivy.

Now, I have not read Smoke and Key, Some Quiet Place or Where Silence Gathers, but I LITERALLY just put them on my TBR list because I just now came across them.

Smoke and Key is about a girl that awakens in the dark to learn that she is dead, has fallen from her grave and now resides in a place called Under. With no recollection of who she is or what happened to her, she tries to find a way out.

Some Quiet Place and When Silence Gathers is an interesting spin on emotions. Elizabeth doesn’t feel emotions, she seems them in human forms. None of the emotions can touch her, except Fear, who is her constant tormentor.

I’m a lover of anything dark and grim, and I think we can agree that Kelsey Sutton is too. If you share this strange deathly love with us, I highly recommend these books.

(See my review for Gardenia here)

 

13. Elizabeth Langston

I Wish is an adorable story about a girl who is forced to provide for her family and bring money in, with very little time for herself or to be a teenager. One day she comes across a music box at a flea market, and out of the box comes a genie willing to grant her one wish each day for a month.

It is a sweet and innocent story of friendship, strength, romance and doing what is right. A great story for all ages, and one all of us can relate to. I mean come one, who wouldn’t want to come across a genie?!

(See my review for Book 1 here and Book 2 here)

 

14. C.J. Anaya

The Prophecy series!!!

A series that starts out in modern times and goes back to 1000 A.D. There are gods, tyrannical rulers, and magic galore!

Hope starts out as a teenage girl in present times in book one, and by books 2-4 she learns that her previous life was lived as a Princess of the Kagami Empire. Her father was a cruel ruler that used her healing powers for selfish purposes. The story goes through both of her lives and the demonic threats that plague both.

It’s a fantasy series with a lot of romance, and a lot of action. It’s like a new-age Mulan/Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon story.

(See my review for Book 1 here, Book 2 here, Book 3 here and book 4 here)

 

15. Mary G. Thompson

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Flicker and Mist is set in a world where some people can Flicker, become invisible in an instant, but not without great threat against their life. Myra learned of her ability as a child, and since then her parents fought to keep her ability a secret. Because is a Flickerkin is discovered in New Heart City, they can be put to death.

I am ALWAYS looking for a story that is different and creative by way of plot and concept, and Flicker and Mist is one of those stories! It is so creative and exciting to read, and a story I wish I could fall into because my dream superpower is to become invisible at will!

(See my review here)

 

16. Elsie Chapman

DID YOU READ ALONG THE INDIGO YET?!

I have been ranting and raving about it for months now!

You know the one I’m talking about. Where people go to commit suicide, where a girl skims their bodies for money and valuables, and the one where said girl lives in a boarding house for woman who serve Johns.

Dreamy, right?

(See my review here)

The Dualed books are ones I have seen around, but haven’t gotten to read yet.

In this series every person has a genetic alternate, and one they must kill by their twentieth birthday in order to live. West thinks that she is the superior Alt until tragedy strikes, then she begins to question her very existence.

 

17. Stacey Marie Brown

THIS is the Big Kahuna of the Paranormal Romance books!

This series has magic, werewolves, faeries, goblins, demons and Dark Dwellers. Which is what our main character Ember is. After being thrown out of her school for accidentally causing an explosion, Ember is sent to a facility for troubled teens. There she learns who she really is, and which world she actually belongs in.

It’s like Twilight, if Twilight was written better and wasn’t so mushy.

This series is a MATURE YA/Adult series, so fair warning!

(See my review for Book 1 here)

 

18. Claire Warner

Amber Sky is the first book in the C.O.I.L.S of Copper and Brass dystopian/steampunk series. It is about a girl that is thrust into court life after making a deal in order to save her family from starvation. It has been featured MANY times on my blog and is one I cannot wait to continue…if the next book ever comes out..

(See my review for Book 1 here)

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You know the deal ladies, stay witchy and keep on being a badass!

 

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books

Binding of Bindings #9: The YA Reads for the Young YA

binding of bindingsthis

Today

is a day of innocence.

Of care-free smiles, child-like bliss, and a moment

Stop pretending to work, stop doing those dishes!

For the LOVE of BOOKS, STOP taking yourself SO SERIOUSLY!

For today is a day for the child in our hearts, the teens we once were, and the young readers around us.

Here we get to act ridiculous, make silly faces, let our minds run wild and be nothing but everything that we dream of. Today I bring you:

The YA Reads for the Young YA

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1. Butterfly Bones (Metamorphosis #1) by Rebecca L. Carpenter

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Though a…strange read, Butterfly Bones is a four-leaf clover in a meadow of California Poppy’s and daffodils.

It is about a teenage girl with a rare bone disorder that physically gives her the size and build of a ten-year-old child. As an infant she was told that she wasn’t going to make it, but she somehow defied the odds. This story follows Bethany as she navigates through high school and is subjected to ridicule and bullying for her appearance.

But the special aspect of this story comes from the work that Bethany’s father has diligently been working on for years, in which he tests the butterfly hormone on Bethany in the hopes that it will treat her disorder.

This story starts out with a contemporary/coming-of-age vibe, but blossoms into a beautiful and touching sci-fi/fantasy before your eyes.

I haven’t yet read book 2, but hope to get to it SOON!

(See my review here)

 

2. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

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If you guys saw my “Love is in the Book Air” post, you will have already heard me gushing and fawning over Flipped.

It is a contemporary romance and a coming-of-age story that switches narrative between two characters, Bryce and Juli. Juli has been in love with Bryce since he moved in next door when they were children, and Bryce has only wished for Juli to just leave him alone.

This is SUCH a sweet and innocent story of two characters with different beliefs and personalities growing up together. It has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid, and I adore every aspect of it.

Plus, there’s a movie!

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3. One Deed Dude by Robert Pence

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Robert Pence is one of the first authors to send my books for review when I first started out, and I am SO glad that he shared his two works with me.

The first of which being One Deed Dude.

This story is witty, creative and absolutely unique in every sense of the word. I believe I had started out my review of this book with “This book is so random, but in the best possible way“.

The story follows Otis who is cursed to only do one good deed a day after accidentally killing a gypsy boy-scout. Enraged by the accident, the mother of the gypsy boy-scout curses Otis to only be able to perform one good deed a day or else suffer terrible living nightmares.

But the concept for this book isn’t the only thing SPECTACULAR about this story. As Otis attempts to complete his daily good deed, he comes across other characters with curses SO ridiculous and comical, you won’t be able to help being completely charmed.

(See my review here)

 

4. Otherworld by Evan Ronan

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Evan Ronan.

What COULDN’T I say about this author?!

His Eddie McCloskey series were the FIRST books I was sent to review, and for that he has a special place in my book heart! BUT the reason I will ALWAYS and FOREVER accept any book for review from Mr. Ronan is because of his writing and creativity.

Otherworld is Evan’s first attempt at a YA story, and let me tell you…

He positively crushed it.

This story is BURSTING at the SEAMS with imagination, childhood adventures and pure bliss! It follows Aoife, a young girl with endless bouts of imagination and creativity. So much so, that her imaginary world she created in her head is actually possible for her to enter. And she must. Because her neighbor, Mr. Peterson, has begun stealing the imaginations of others in order to recapture his past.

Otherworld is one of the best young YA stories I have ever read, precisely because of the ability the author has to truly capture the voice, thoughts and minds of these children. There is a talking recycling bin named AL and “Leg Giants” which are literally giant legs with arms!

Its a world ANY child would want to get lost in, and one that I wish I could travel to!

(See my review here)

 

5. A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

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Another book that was mentioned in my “Love is in the Book Air” post, and another great YA romance.

A Quiet Kind of Thunder is about Steffi, a selective mute, and Rhys, a boy who is deaf. This story follows the two characters as they meet in school, and quickly form a bond over their isolation form their peers due to the uniqueness to each of their situations. The two quickly form a friendship through sign language, and it eventually turns into a beautiful and gentle romance that you’ll want to cherish forever.

This story is SO clever and gives the reader a NEW and DIFFERENT plot with characters you’ll instantly fall in love with!

(See my review here)

 

6. CUL8R Time Travel series by Bob Kat

 

The CUL8R series is a great middle-grade set of books about friendship and time travel, with a TON of adventure.

After moving to Florida to live with her aunt, Kelly quickly sparks a friendship with her smart next door neighbor and his quarterback best friend. The three new friends eventually come across an invention in Kelly’s garage called the Telephone to the Dead, which allows them to communicate to ghosts. After hearing the pleas for help from a young girl, Scott invents a time traveling so that the three can go back in time and help.

This series is PACKED with adventures and takes the reader through different parts of time so they can assist someone in need. It is a great series that will warm your heart, make you want to lend a helping hand, and just get you positively PSYCHED about science-fiction!

(See my review of book 1 here)

 

7. Stargirl (Stargirl #1) by Jerry Spinelli

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THIS is one of the earliest books I remember reading as a kid, and one of the most special! This story is about the yearning to be accepted for one’s self and originality, in the midst of popularity and social pressure to conform.

At Mica Area High School, Leo has learned to stay hidden and to not stand out. But with the arrival of Stargirl, the dynamic in this high school begins to shift. At first the students are taken with Stargirl and praise her unique look and personality, but just as quickly, she is shunned and put down for her uniqueness.

Stargirl is an amazing a breathtaking story with a message to ALWAYS be yourself, no matter what anyone says or thinks. It is the ESSENCE of a story that any young YA should read for its message, and for the pure pleasure that it brings.

 

8. Thump Squash by Robert Pence

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Another young YA by Robert Pence, and another clever tale!

Thump Squash is the tale of a creature who kidnaps children and chops off their feet. After the disappearance of eleven-year-old Billy, his friends go on the hunt to find Thump Squash and get billy back.

Though it sounds like it may be gruesome, it is a wonderful mystery/suspense for children and teens. It is the perfect who-done-it with relatable characters, funny moments and some very witty writing.

It’s almost like a Goosebumps story that won’t leave you with nightmares!

(See my review here)

 

9. Holes (Holes #1) by Louis Sachar

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HOLES!!!!!!!!!!!!

The true obsession of my childhood.

At first a forced reading for school, but soon…a deep love and admiration. And the movie being SO amazing definitely didn’t sway my enthusiasm for these characters.

Stanley Yelnats believes the men in his family are cursed, why else would he have been sent to Camp Green Lake? There isn’t even a lake! After Stanley is unjustly caught stealing, he is sentenced to the camp in order to “build character“, by way of digging holes. But soon Stanley realizes that the boys at Camp Green Lake aren’t just digging holes to “build character“, and that the truth behind the curse on his family may be at the bottom of a hole.

If you haven’t had the immense pleasure of reading Holes or watching the movie, YOU NEED TO GET ON IT! This story is fantastic for anyone of any age, and is SUCH a treat! I have watched this movie a million times, and will continue to watch it a million more.

 

10. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

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We might as well start crying together now.

Tuck Everlasting. *Sigh*…this story is everything.

I read this in fourth grade right before the movie came out, and my teacher was so AWESOME that he took our entire class to go see it. You go Mr. Huberty!

This is a story of a family who will live forever due to drinking from a magical spring, and a young girl who happens upon the youngest son of the family while he drank from it. It is a tale of romance, but most importantly, a story of choice: to live forever or to simply live.

Another story great for all ages, and one with a fantastic and beautiful message to be present and live for now. Again, there’s also a movie to look forward to after reading! So hurry, hurry!

 

11. Hatchet (Brian’s Saga #1) by Gary Paulsen

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This was the first book I remember getting assigned in elementary school, and is definitely the most celebrated book on my list. It is an adventure story that can be placed right next to Call of the Wild, but for the younger audiences.

The story follows Brian as he becomes stranded in the forest after a plane crash, and as he learns to fend for himself and stay alive. This story will make the reader ask themselves if they could survive in the wild, and will most definitely spark the need to learn a few things.

It is a great story of perseverance, determination and courage. Fantastic for any age reader and a story that will keep you enthralled and connected to the main character.

 

12. Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga #1) by Orson Scott Card

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The last of my school book recommendations, but still one of my ABSOLUTE favorites.

I remember this was on my summer required reading list before going into my Freshman year of high school, and let me tell you…I was NOT excited to read this.

I had never read a science-fiction story up to that point, and had no need or yearning to. AT ALL. I remember complaining to my mother that it was a “boy book” and that I would NEVER be able to get through it.

Oh the agony!!!! THE UNFAIRNESS of it ALL!

But, I’m not too proud to say that my preconceived notions about this book were dead wrong…because it is AMAZING!

This story is set sometime in the future and when aliens arrive on earth to eradicate it and every soul on it. But the military has a plan. They train young kids to defeat the enemy, and Ender is recruited at the age of six. So ensues Ender’s journey to save planet Earth. It is an exciting read and one that will spark the sci-fi interest in any reader.

Annndddd there’s a movie! Winner winner!

 

13. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

 

A Series of Unfortunate Events barely even needs an explanation.

We all know the obsession.

So of course, it MUST be mentioned in my Young YA Reads because there is almost nothing better than this seriesexcept maybe a more cheerful series.

And Harry Potter.

Maybe.

The series is exactly what you think, it is a set of books about truly unfortunate and downright ghastly events! Three orphans are tossed from caretaker to caretaker whilst trying to discover the events surround their parents mysterious death, and of course avoiding the evil Count Olaf. Though this series does get rather dark, it is highly enjoyable and creative.

There was one movie made of it with Jim Carey, that I really liked but was never continued. BUT there is also the Netflix series of it as well!

 

14. The School for Good and Evil series by Soman Chainani

 

I bought this series two years ago, but have yet to read them. I was instantly drawn to them by those BEAUTIFUL covers, and of course the synopsis.

The series is about a school that trains ordinary boys and girls to be villains and heroes. It is the story of how two best friends arrive at the School for Good & Evil to be trained in their assumed roles. Sophie who is charming and bubbly, and Agatha who flows in dark colors and detests everyone thought they knew exactly which schools they would be going to, until their roles suddenly get reversed.

It sounds like a truly fun and witty story, and I hope I can make time to read it soon!

 

15. A Moon in Your Lunch Box by Michael Spooner

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My mother bought this for me when I was still tiny and dripping in innocence. It was my first book of poetry, and a HILARIOUS one at that.

This book is a great way to start any child on poetry, and might even be helpful to them in school. I personally took a poem out of here for a class assignment in 3rd grade, and my classmates LOVED it SO MUCH that they made me bring it in so my teacher could read us one poem a day.

I WISH I had the book on me to show you the poem I chose, but alas, it is safe in storage somewhere.

It had something to do with mashing up a banana and pouring your Pepsi on it.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Here we are, the end of innocence road.

How do you feel?

Nostalgic? Warm and Fuzzy?

Good.

Because next week, that probably won’t be the case.

Stay witchy!

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books

Binding of Bindings #6: Love is in the Book Air

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I can show you the world,

Love, affection, devotion.

Tell me, reader, your afflictions,

So that you can avoid those books.

I can open your eyes,

To heartbreak and true love.

Under harsh rules and above,

On a magic book ride.

A whole new world,

With Fae, Ghosts and Murderers.

Some stories may start out sweet,

But then end dark and bleak.

But don’t let that keep you away.

A whole new world,

One where you can find your mate and lover.

You may cry with despair, or even joy

But no matter which, your tears will deploy.

Because those mushy stories are here!

Your heart will start pounding,

You might feel like you’re drowning.

But just make sure you come up for air.

A whole new world,

One of intrigue, passion and flare,

Don’t you dare turn away,

Here is where you have to stay.

Because:

~ * ~ Love is in the Book Air ~ * ~

 

 

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas

*Sigh*

We all just need a Rhysand, don’t we?!

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This series is EVERYTHING our mushy, hopeful souls need when it comes to romance. Some Fae male to steal us away from the human realm, a first love, despair, true love/mates and a High Court of lethal dark characters.

I am currently reading this series over, AGAIN, just because I needed that soul-clenching love to hit me like a ton of bricks.

 

2. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Just Listen

A favorite of mine for YEARS! Just Listen is an incredibly sweet and sad story. It follows a girl named Annabel who is dealing with a very traumatic event that happened one night with her former friend Sophie. As she tries to come to grips with the event, she meets a guy named Owen who helps put her back on her feet.

This is SUCH a touching story that focuses on some serious topics like anorexia and sexual assault, but it is also a tender story of acceptance and forgiveness.

This will make you swoon.

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3. The Purification Era series by Angie Grigaliunas

If you want a Fantasy series obsession, with a truly envious romance, READ THESE BOOKS!

Sowing and Quelling follow the lives of two sisters, Ariliah and Rabreah, as they try to find their place in a village ruled over by the Hulcondans – ruthless soldiers who are meant to protect the city and inhabitants. For Ariliah, the Hulcondans are her protectors and people she trusts without question, but for Rabreah, they are vile and will take advantage of men and women just because they are the law.

Rabreah joins the rebellion and meets Sorek, their fearless leader. So ensues a tale of an uprising, battles and murders, and of course…romance.

The romance in this series is definitely one of my favorites, because the characters feel SO real and relatable. The love in this series is a slow-build, so one you can definitely get to know and appreciate. Plus, the female characters are BADASS and Sorek is truly my dream man. LOVE it.

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4. Atonement by Ian McEwan

Atonement

Grab your tissues boys and girls.

This will rip your heart out.

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This book starts in 1934 and takes the reader through World War II, following the lives of two lovers, Robbie and Cecilia. It begins with a young girl named Briony making a colossal mistake of accusing Robbie of a heinous crime one summer night, which in turns changes the lives of these three characters forever.

This is a tale of fierce love and loss, and will absolutely make you WEEP.

I’m not kidding guys, this will crush you.

But it’s just OH SO worth it!

 

5. A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

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This is a BEAUTIFUL and UNIQUE YA contemporary romance that I know you guys will LOVE!

Steffi is a selective mute, and has been for years. But with her choice of silence comes isolation from her peers at school, until she meets Rhys. Rhys is deaf but is able to communicate with Steffi through sign language. Soon a romance sparks between them, and they learn how to navigate through the world together.

This book does a fantastic job of showcasing the struggles that both of these characters endure, while also giving it a positive layer of perseverance and helping one another grow.

It’s a fantastic coming-of-age story, and one with a romance SO sweet and innocent that you’ll want to put these two in your pocket.

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6. The Mediator series by Meg Cabot

I have always had a liking for Meg Cabot books (especially the 1-800-Where-Are-You series) and this series is no exception.

The main character, Suze, can speak to the dead. The series goes through her life at school, and each book showcases a new spirit who needs her help to cross over or move on. But the real story is with a ghost named Jesse who she falls MADLY in love with, even though they obviously cannot be together.

It is a very lighthearted and enjoyable series, and one you will FLY through.

 

7. Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

There obviously can’t be a “Love is in the Air” post without Throne of Glass!

This series as you know (at least, I hope you know) is positively SEEPING in romance and lust! There’s endless games of cat and mouse, love triangles, mates, deaths, battles and murders. It is a series with such intense and soul-crushing romance that you will never again be satisfied in an actual relationship in real life.

You can thank Sarah J. Maas for that.

There’s just SOMETHING about a man that would skin someone alive for hurting you

 

8. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

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Dreamland is another book you will need that box of tissues for, so I hope you’re stocking up now!

Caitlin and Rogerson.

The beautiful relationship that starts out so promising, so smoothly, and then…it shatters.

It’s a relationship that is just as much addicting as it is toxic. It is one that is SO relatable to so many readers, and teaches us all a really amazing lesson.

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Your heart will need bandaging after this one.

 

9. A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

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I think we have all seen this amazing movie, but have you read the book?!

The book is set in 1958 and follows Landon Carter as he recounts his days in high school. He starts to spend his time with Jamie Sullivan, the daughter of the town’s Baptist minister, and soon a romance blossoms. This story is a passionate fairy-tale dream, one with a bad boy falling in love with a sweet girl…but one that also ends on a sad note.

If this doesn’t capture your heart, I don’t know what will.

My stomach is doing little flips just thinking about it!

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10. The Garden by John Nuckel

The Garden

The Garden is a short story of love and forgiveness.

Walt is nearing the end of his life, and while laying in the hospital he recounts small memories with his daughters and late wife, Meg. The reader follows Walt as he makes his journey into the afterlife by making amends with his daughter.

It is a short and sweet tale filled with love and adoration, and one that completely reminds me of Carl and Ellie.

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11. Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher

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Thirteen Reasons Why has been at the top of my “Most Obsessed-Over Books” for years now, and there’s so many reasons why.

Not only is it COMPLETELY unique, but it gets down and dirty into suicide and what comes after.

Clay Jensen comes home one day to find a box of cassette tapes addressed to him. As he plays the first tape, he realizes it is Hannah, a girl who had committed suicide two weeks earlier. On each tape Hannah gives a reason that lead to her decision to kill herself, and that the tapes will be sent to each person who played a role in her suicide.

This book will strip you bare, make you take a long hard look at yourself and your actions, and will make you feel EVERY SINGLE FEEL there is.

It’s the story of a romance that never was, but in my opinion, a romance that is incredibly powerful and important.

 

12. The Darkness series by Stacey Marie Brown

On a lighter note…

The Darkness series!

This is a Mature YA Paranormal Romance that includes demons, faeries, goblins and Dark Dwellers. This series is HOT, HOT, HOT!!! It’s like a Twilight for the mature reader, but with more bloodshed and better writing 😉

It is about a girl named Ember who is forced into a school for troubled youth after she accidentally causes a series of electrical explosions. Here Ember learns the truth of what she is, a species of Otherworld that is forbidden to be alive, and falls for the alluring and dangerous Eli Dragen.

It is another story with a romance that builds, so don’t worry…no Insta-Love here!

 

13. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

Flipped

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Awwww…Young love!

If you have not had the immense pleasure of reading Flipped, you NEED to get involved!

It’s a Pre-teen/YA Coming-of-age Contemporary Romance, but is a wonderful read for all ages! The story flips back and forth between Julie Baker and Bryce Loski as they grow older. Julie has been in love with Bryce since the day they met when his family moved in across the street, but Bryce wants nothing more than for Julie to leave him alone.

It is a WONDERFUL, innocent and heart-filling story of two young characters as they grow, make life decisions, and really find out who they are and who they want to be.

 

14. The Immortals series by Alyson Noel

The Immortals is YA Fantasy/Paranormal romance series about a girl who acquires the ability to read people’s auras after a fatal car accident. By just touching someone, Ever can learn someone’s life story. This pushes Ever into a life of isolation from her peers, until a boy named Damen enters her life. Damen is both mysterious and intoxicating, but knows just how to help her and keep her sane among the insanity that her life has become.

This series is the epitome of a love story. It is SO sweet and beautiful, and definitely the reason I have such high expectations when being courted! 😉

 

15. Kissed by an Angel by Elizabeth Chandler

AW, this brings back such wonderful memories!

I read this series in high school. I fell in love with it, and expected all my future loves to be JUST. LIKE. THIS.

Obviously, I was very wrong. But I’m still hoping!

Ivy and Tristan are everything that embodies the title of love. When Tristan suddenly dies in a car accident, Ivy’s world shatters from the loss of her soulmate. But when Tristan comes back as an angel to protect and watch over Ivy, his dreams are crushed when she is unable to feel his presence.

I know it sounds cheesy, and it is. I mean come on, it’s a LOVE story guys! But trust me, this is a swoon-worthy series and will make you wish you had an angel to fall in love with.

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Ugh, am I the only one nauseous from the FEELS of all those books?!

I just want to crawl into a hole and suffocate myself with every single one of these romance books, until my hole becomes a puddle from my tears.

Which will turn that puddle into a river, that you can tell me to cry for you.

Let me know how these turn out for you, I’m dying to know how much they rip your heart out!

 

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Binding of Bindings · Books · New Releases · Reviews · TBR · Wrap-Up

Binding of Bindings #4: January Book Wrap-Up

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Come little children, I’ll take thee away

Into a land of enchantment

Come little children, the times come to play

Here in my garden of magic.

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January Wrap-up

Let’s just DIVE right in!

 

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, Book 1) by Holly Black

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If you haven’t started this series yet….

well I just don’t even know what to say to you.

The Cruel Prince is the opposite of everything you thought you knew about the Fae. They aren’t dainty creatures that act like little cherubs, they don’t want to shower you in luck and magic, and they sure as s**t DO NOT love humans.

These faeries are RUTHLESS and CUNNING tricksters.

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The Cruel Prince is about a human girl named Jude, her twin, and their half-Fae sister who find themselves living in Faerie. Jude is tortured and ridiculed on a daily basis, but finds that she has grown to love the world of Faerie. It is a FANTASTIC story and a WONDERFUL introduction to this series.

(See my review here)

 

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, Book 2) by Holly Black

the wicked king

…there’s not much to say here.

Except, you know…

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This book evoked only the BEST and ANGRIEST gifs I had.

This book might kill you.

You may see darkness, a brief flash of all your best moments in  life, and a light at the end of a VERY SMALL and VERY NARROW tunnel.

But don’t worry. Because you won’t be reaching the light.

It’s all SWEET, LINGERING, WOEFUL DARKNESS from here my friends.

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(See my review here)

 

Immortal Girl5 by Griffin Stark

Immortal Girls

Not the best of my January reads, but a decent one at that.

Or a decent attempt at least.

Immortal Girl5 is about five (duh) girls throughout history that are turned immortal to protect the world…I mean, I think that’s what their purpose is? They basically show up in well-known parts of history, like to defeat Jack the ripper or to assist Anne Frank and Joan or Arc. It is an interesting concept, but just wasn’t executed well.

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However, I think it would be a great starter book from a child or young teen though.

(See my review here)

 

Evenfall (Shadowfire, Book 1) by Gaja J. Kos and Boris Kos

Evenfall

If the cover doesn’t make you fall in love, I don’t know what will.

Evenfall is about a girl who wake in a world that isn’t hers. One where magic flows and is used by men AND women, and one where she is hunted. Ember is the savior of this world and the others, and the Crescent Prince is hunting her down to use her powers for his bidding. Supposedly 😉

Look. This book was WRITTEN BEAUTIFULLY and the world that was created was BREATHTAKING. The only issue is the pacing, and the insta-love. The beginning starts out a little slow and boring, but then halfway through it is RACING to the finish line.

There IS an insta-romance, so if this annoys you to no end, I won’t blame you.

BUT. If you can get past these little things, the book really is an intriguing and interesting read. It’s a magical YA Fantasy that has legs to become truly fantastic.

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(See my review here)

 

The Giver, Graphic Novel by Lois Lowry and P. Craig Russell

the giver

THIS.

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THE GRAPHIC NOVEL FOR THE GIVER.

Need I say more?

(See my review here)

 

The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale

The Cold is in Her Bones

Here we come to The Cold is in Her Bones.

By far the strangest read of January 2019.

It is a retelling of Medusa, mother of us Slytherins! ❤ It is about a young girl who has an affinity for Snakes. Once her family sees this though, they basically say she is possessed by the devil.

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She curses the village and all the women living and to come, that they will have the same affinity to snakes as her. It is a VERY compelling read and has a dark 1800’s folktale vibe to it. You will probably give an audible WTF at least once while reading, but trust me. It’s worth the read.

(See my review here)

 

Dream Keeper (The Dark Dreamer Trilogy, Book 1) by Amber R. Duell

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I REALLY tried to like this and I REALLY tried to stay positive about it.

But sometimes, there’s just not a opening for positivity.

This is a Sandman retelling, or spin-off…however you want to look at it. It is about a girl that has been visiting the Sandman in her dreams since she was 12, and is now thrust into the throngs of murder and terror. The Weaver (the Lord of Nightmares) begins terrorizing Nora’s life by killing her family and friends, in order to get a dream that she has.

It had great potential, but was just SO hard to get through. The characters were dull, the pacing was off, prominent characters weren’t mentioned until 75% into the book, and it just had a cheesy feel to it.

I don’t recommend.

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(See my review here)

My January Book Wrap-up leaves me with a total of 7 books read, and honestly, that’s not too bad.

I am currently reading Enchantée by Gita Trelease, which I started in January, but am still reading. I am hoping to have 7 or more books done in February, so fingers crossed!!

Thanks for reading witchlings!

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Book Reviews · Books · Netgalley · New Releases · Pre-order · Reviews

Book Review: The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale

The Cold is in Her Bones

The Cold is in Her Bones will be available for purchase on January 22, 2019.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, via NetGalley for an honest review.

Genre: YA/Teen/Fiction/Fantasy/Retelling

Plot: Milla knows two things to be true: Demons are real, and fear will keep her safe.

Milla’s whole world is her family’s farm. She is never allowed to travel to the village and her only friend is her beloved older brother, Niklas. When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret she’s forbidden to share: The village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random, and the townspeople live in terror of who it will come for next.

Now, it seems, the demon has come for Iris. When Iris is captured and imprisoned with other possessed girls, Milla leaves home to rescue her and break the curse forever. Her only company on the journey is a terrible new secret of her own: Milla is changing, too, and may soon be a demon herself.

Opinion:

Something slithery this way comes.

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Gather ‘round my cunning Slytherins!

I’ve got a retelling of our dear mummy dearest:

Medusa

If Milla knows anything, it is that she must be a good girl. She must do her chores efficiently, must always stay clean and tidy, mustn’t ask questions that do not deserve answers, and must always pray to keep the demons away. But Milla’s’ life is one of loneliness and solitude. She does not have the luxury of traveling to the nearby village or making friends, and her mother shows her much less attention and affection in comparison to her brother. Though the arrival of a young girl named Iris gives Milla someone to finally talk to and befriend, Milla finally learns of the reasoning behind her forced solitude. These is a curse on the girls in the village, one that makes each of them go insane, and Iris is showing signs of possession. Milla races to help her new friend, but soon finds that she might be changing as well.

Without a doubt, this is my first official positive WTF read of 2019.

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The Cold is in Her Bones is supposed to be a retelling of dear mother Medusa, but it’s a loose retelling. The tale goes as such: A young girl named Hulda lived with her mother and father, and her dearly beloved Sister. As young children the sisters were inseparable, sleeping so entwined with one another that they would wake with their hair knotted together. But as they grew older, the sisters drifted apart. Hulda was not given the same adoration and attention as The Sister, and grew lonely and isolated. To fulfill her loneliness Hulda spent her time in the woods, making friends with the snakes, learning their names and letting them burrow in her hair. But when one of the snakes was seen in her hair, it was ripped out and thrown into the fire by The Sister’s betrothed. For the anguish and grief that Hulda felt for her snake, the others saw her as being possessed. Her family took her into the woods, buried her in the snow, and left her there in the hopes that the demon would leave her body. When Hulda woke with vengeance in her heart, and a body consisting of snakes, she cursed the village and all the inhabitants so they may never again feel peace or content.

You know those horror movies set in the 1800’s where there is a family, with their farm, and they churn butter and chop wood? Where an older sibling will tell the younger children folk-tales about witches and curses, so as to scare them into being good? This is EXACTLY like that…

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except much more sad, and way less gruesome.

This feels like a Tim Burton film waiting patiently to be made, or at least one of similar taste. It has the oddities and dark tones that every great children’s horror has, but it is also loaded with all the necessary lessons and positive morals that one is told as a child. Or should have been told. It centers on themes of family values, being kind to others, having compassion for differences, and the cruel nature of vengeance. There are many small tales within this tale that is told to the reader, and each one enhances the grittiness and somber themes that envelope this story.

Once the reader is told the tale of Hulda, the story then switches off to Milla. It explains her home life and the struggles she endures to constantly be good and to please her parents. Milla lives in the shadow of her kind and seemingly-perfect brother, and she feels like she is a disappoint and burden to her family. She is unable to travel to the village and is kept under tight lock and key, with unknown reasons as to why. The story begins to unfold when Milla meets Iris, a girl that will eventually be married to her brother. The girls become very quick friends and create a fierce bond, but it all changes when Iris becomes possessed. Iris is taken somewhere called “The Place” where she will be held with other girls who have become possessed. Milla learns that it all stems from a curse that was placed on the village. A curse that was placed by her aunt, Hulda.

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The writing in this book is AMAZING. The author did a fantastic job of making the story feel like a folktale in how the characters spoke to one another, how the setting is given to the reader, and even during Milla and Hulda’s inner dialogues. But where the author REALLY shines in The Cold is in Her Bones is when she describes very beautifully heartbreaking moments where Milla feels like an outcast.

’Pretty is as pretty does,’ Gitta had always said to Milla. But Milla knew that couldn’t be right. Milla had never done anything but behave, and still she wasn’t pretty the way her mother was. If she were, she’d know it. She’d see proof of her prettiness in her mother’s eyes, or her father’s. Instead what she saw there was disappointment. Perhaps it wasn’t true that pretty is as pretty does…”

Though I can confidently say that I enjoyed this read, it DID take me a week to read it. Usually I can fly through a book in about two days, but this one was really taking me awhile to get through. The story moved a little slow for me, and at times I was feeling a little bored and irritated that I wasn’t moving on to what happened quicker. BUT, once I was finished, I realized how much I didn’t care at all about the pacing or how long it took me to get through it. I LOVE a creative and unique story, and that is EXACTLY what this is.

I recommend this to anyone who is looking for something different to read, who doesn’t get weirded out too easily, and who doesn’t have an affliction to snakes. Don’t go into this expecting an only slightly twisted retelling of Medusa, because this is completely different! The story has given me the inspiration to go on to read Peternelle van Arsdale’s other horror story, The Beast is an Animal, which is apparently in development to becoming a movie. Excitement!

If you want a little magic, to hear some folktales, dive into a curse, and even meet a witch (fangirling) then you MUST give The Cold is in Her Bones a try!

It’s so creative that it makes me wish I had snakes growing out of my own head.

4-stars

 

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