Thursday, March 31, 2016

New Releases: April 2016

 April 5

Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse
Girl in the Blue Coat

Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction

Forest of Ruin (Age of Legends #3) by Kelley Armstrong
Forest of Ruin (Age of Legends, #3)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court #1) by Richelle Mead
The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court, #1)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

When We Collided by Emery Lord
When We Collided

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
Tell Me Three Things

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Every Heart a Doorway (Every Heart a Doorway #1) by Seanan McGuire
Every Heart a Doorway

Genre: Fantasy

In the Labyrinth of Drakes (Memoir by Lady Trent #4) by Marie Brennan
In The Labyrinth of Drakes (Memoir by Lady Trent, #4)

Genre: Fantasy

The Midnight Assassin: Panic, Scandal, and the Hunt for America's First Serial Killer by Skip Hollandsworth
The Midnight Assassin: Panic, Scandal, and the Hunt for America's First Serial Killer

Genre: True Crime

Fellside by M.R. Carey

Genre: Horror

April 12

A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry
A Fierce and Subtle Poison

Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane: A True Story of Victorian Law and Disorder by Paul Thomas Murphy
Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane: A True Story of Victorian Law and Disorder: The First Unsolved Murder of the Victorian Age

Genre: True Crime

The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman
The Genius of Birds

Genre: Non Fiction

Dreamology by Lucy Keating

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
April 19

Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld
Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice

Genre: Literary Fiction - Retelling

The Everything Box by Richard Kadrey
The Everything Box

Genre: Fantasy

Maestra by L.S. Hilton

Genre: Thriller

April 26

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Steifvater
The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian
The Last Boy and Girl in the World

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
The Star-Touched Queen

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) by Sylvain Neuvel
Sleeping Giants (Themis Files, #1)

Genre: Science Fiction

Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun
Heir to the Sky

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain
A Murder in Time

Genre: Mystery

Sex with Shakespeare: Here's Much to Do with Pain, but More with Love by Jillian Keenan
Sex with Shakespeare: Here's Much to Do with Pain, but More with Love

Genre: Memoir

The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2) by Renee Ahdieh
The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn, #2)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Solider (Talon #3) by Julie Kagawa
Soldier (Talon, #3)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday: Least Favourite Book in Your Favourite Series

 Top 5 Wednesday 

This topic is brutal. You're asking me to pick my least favourite books from my most favourite series!? Why don't you just ask me to chop off my least favourite limb while you're at it? With heavy feelings of guilt and agony, I give you my least favourite books from my most favourite series (in no particular order):

5) The Treasure Keeper (Drakon #4) by Shana Abe
The Treasure Keeper (Drakon, #4)

The first three books in this dragon shapshifter historical romance series are phenomenal, full of excitement, passion, and danger. I found The Treasure Keeper lacked something that the first books had. It doesn't help that the male protagonist spends about half the book as a ghost/spirit/incorporeal being. The plot is fairly intriguing but the romance part of the book feels underwhelming. 

4) Mockingjay(The Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)

I have a friend who likes the first two books in The Hunger Games trilogy but absolutely hates Mockingjay. While I don't hate it, I'll admit that it's not perfect and I like the first two books better. I thought some of the character deaths in this book were rushed and had almost no impact on me while I was reading it. 

3) Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3) by Richelle Mead
Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3)

While I enjoy the soapiness of the Vampire Academy series, I felt the third book in the series had some over-the-top ridiculous moments. And the anticipated love scene between Rose and Dimitri turned out to be a total snooze-fest. I kind of went off on a rant when I reviewed it. If you're curious, you can read it here.

2) Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer
Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)

Okay, I feel super guilty about putting Scarlet on this list because The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favourite series of ALL TIME! Maybe it's because I'm not much of a Red Riding Hood fan. Or maybe it's just because I like the other books in the series just a tiny bit better. Don't get me wrong, I still love this book! It's just not my absolute favourite in the Lunar Chronicles.

1) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5) by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5)

Okay, this one is painful. I am an avid Harry Potter fan. I love each and every book in the series. But if I had to choose my least favourite it would be Order of the Phoenix because it's just so damn depressing. It's really dark and gloomy and Harry is yelling at his friends, and Umbridge takes over Hogwarts, and then the ending... I think it's an important, pivotal book in the series but it can be tough to get through.

As always, Top 5 Wednesday is an original bookish meme created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey. The Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads Group can be found here

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads


I'll admit that I'm not very discerning when it comes to rating books. I'm like Oprah when it comes to giving high ratings - 'You get five stars! You get five stars! Everybody gets five stars!' Well, okay, not every book. I do have some standards. I do try to reserve my five star ratings for books that I absolutely love, books that speak to me, books that make me want to be a better person. Or, as you'll see below, books that feature masturbating dragons. Without further ado, here are my most recent five-star reads.

In order from least to most recent:

10) My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
My Life on the Road

A brilliant and warm memoir by a feminist icon, this was the first pick for Emma Watson's feminist book club Our Shared Shelf

9) Saga, Volume 5 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Saga, Volume 5

Saga is definitely my favourite comic book series of all time. I love this particular volume because we are treated to a glorious two-page spread of a dragon masturbating. You just don't see that kind of stuff in Batman. 

8) Under the Skin by Michel Faber
Under The Skin

This was one of those rare instances where I saw the film adaptation of Under the Skin before reading the novel. I loved the book way more than the film - it's just so dark and compelling and creepy. A trippy read that will get 'under your skin.' (HAHAHAHA! PUNS!)

7) The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
The Start of Me and You

A great YA contemporary that gave me ALL THE FEELS! 

6) The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Color Purple

Yet another pick for Emma Watson's book club, this is such a moving, empowering novel about two sisters struggling to overcome racism and misogyny. 

5) Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Reading Slaughterhouse-Five for the first time was mind-blowing. It's one of those books that demands to be reread every few years. 

4) Stars Above: A Lunar Chronicles Collection by Marissa Meyer
Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles)

It was so much fun to revisit all of my favourite Lunar Chronicles characters in this story collection. I especially loved the wedding story. Swoon-worthy!

3) Animal Farm by George Orwell
Animal Farm

Not having read this book since high school, it was great to reread Orwell's brilliant allegory. 

2) All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks
All About Love: New Visions

Emma Watson sure knows how to pick 'em. So far I have given all of her book club selections a five-star rating. I was truly inspired by bell hooks' treatise on love.

1) Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant #5) by Ben Aaronovitch
Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant, #5)

The latest book in the Peter Grant urban fantasy series is by far the best. Two words: Lethal Unicorns!

Tell me some of your most recent five-star reads!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original bookish meme created by The Broke and the Bookish

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Haven't Talked About Enough


For this list, I'm reaching back to previous years and trying not to include books that I've read/reviewed recently (excluding the first two entries.) This list features some of my favourite books of all time but, for one reason or another, haven't gushed about lately. 

10) Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

An incredible YA contemporary novel that I read last year, this book follows Simon Spier as he navigates high school drama and the ups and downs of coming out and finding love. Full of great, diverse characters and plenty of LOL moments, I feel like Simon vs THSA should inspire TFIOS levels of obsession. 

9) The Vagrant by Peter Newman
The Vagrant (The Vagrant, #1)

With touches of sci-fi and horror, this unique fantasy follows a badass, sword-wielding protagonist, who at the same time is a nurturing protector to an infant child. This is a novel where it takes a while to get used to the writing style - Newman takes the 'show, don't tell' school of thought to an extreme - but once I was about 50 pages in, I was hooked. The sequel, The Malice, is due to be published in May.

8) The Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch
Midnight Riot (Peter Grant, #1)

A super-fun series that mixes urban fantasy with police procedurals, the Peter Grant novels have yet to disappoint me. I'm currently re-reading them, and whenever I do, I have the mad urge to recommend this series to everyone I come in contact with. 

7) The Drakon series by Shana Abe
The Smoke Thief (Drakon #1)

A fantasy/romance series that features people who can turn into dragons - this is definitely a favourite of mine. Not only are the books full of action and steamy romance, they are bursting with gorgeous prose. There's also a YA spin-off series called The Sweetest Dark that I also love. I feel this is one of the most underrated series out there and I encourage everyone to check it out.

6) In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
In Cold Blood

A true-crime masterpiece that left me absolutely stunned when I first read it. Capote formed such intimate relationships with the two murderers and that detail and research really shine in the book. Required reading for true-crime fans.

5) Graceling series by Kristin Cashore
Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)

I consider the Graceling series to be one of the best in the YA fantasy genre - when I first read the books, I was blown away by the complexity of the world and the brilliant writing. I don't think it's as widely-read as it deserves to be.

4) Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Memoirs of a Geisha

A book I haven't read in years but it's one of my all-time favourites. I am so disappointed that Arthur Golden hasn't written anything else because the man writes beautifully. I definitely need to reread this one soon.

3) The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
The Orphan Master's Son

This is another book that I think is criminally under-read, even though it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2013. Set in North Korea, it follows Pak Jun Do as he rises in the ranks of the country's elite - and makes a deadly enemy of the notorious dictator, Kim Jong Il.

2) The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

I suppose literary snobs think it's cool to drop Murakami's name in casual conversation just so they can seem intelligent and worldly - but I genuinely do love his novels. Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is my all-time favourite of his - a bizarre, dreamy, surreal, beautiful book that demands to be reread over and over again. 

1) The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon

The Yiddish Policemen's Union

I think this post could alternately be titled 'Books I Haven't Read in Ages and Only Vaguely Remember but Know That I Love.' This is one of those books. I don't think I even fully understood it when I read it during my formative teenage years but I do remember the remarkable prose and how I didn't even realize books could be written like that until I read Yiddish Policeman's Union.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original bookish meme created by The Broke and the Bookish