“An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir

★★★★★  

This book is truly an epic masterpiece. Definitely in my top 10 for the year!

27774758Laia and Elias live in the same city, but they have very different lives. Laia is a Scholar (basically a lowly peasant) and Elias is a Mask (in training to be like an assassin/really powerful soldier). When Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, she knows that she needs to do whatever it takes to save him. This is how she becomes a slave within Blackcliff Academy, which is *gasp* where the Masks live and train! Elias is struggling with what his life will be when he finishes at Blackcliff and becomes a Mask officially. He doesn’t enjoy killing, or fighting, and doesn’t want this life as a Mask–all he wants is his freedom. Will either Laia or Elias (or maybe both of them) get what they are desperately wishing for?

Basically this book is awesome in so many ways: there’s spying, fighting, strong women, evil people, magical beings, and a deadly competition. It’s just really amazing and I can’t stress how much I think so many readers would like this book! It’s a rush of adventure and intense, breath-holding moments, will-they-won’t-they love interests, and so much more.

And what’s more, the sequel, A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT, comes out on August 30th! So you can binge read both and feel ALL THE FEELS with me. Review for TORCH upcoming!

Purchase the book here.

July Wrap-Up

It’s time to wrap-up my July reads. I read 20 books! Wow! That is by far the most books I’ve read in a month. It’s 1 book for every 1.55 days. I also completed my Goodreads Challenge this month, and now stand at 91 books total for the year!

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Books read in July 2016!
  1. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  2. You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein (Review)
  3. Jackaby by William Ritter
  4. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  5. Shrill by Lindy West
  6. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
  7. All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker (Review)*
  8. If I Stay by Gayle Forman*
  9. Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke*
  10. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (Review)
  11. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
  12. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (Review)
  13. The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel (Review)*
  14. Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
  15. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover*
  16. The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien
  17. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany (Review)

*Audiobook or eARC, not pictured
(Plus 3 books proofread for my work, not pictured and not within my blog’s scope of genre)

Some of these books have yet to be reviewed on my blog, but I will add the links as I add the reviews! I look forward to August being a very successful month as well.

Have you read any of these books? Which ones are you looking forward to reading?

“Lily and the Octopus” by Steven Rowley

★★★★★ OUT TOMORROW! Go get this. Now! (Buy on Amazon)

71yA6Fa--wLKeeping with past trends, I tend to have the hardest time writing reviews for books that I absolutely love. This is one of those. I read this book over 2 months ago and have been unable to put into words what I feel about it.

Lily (a dachshund) and Ted (a man) are the best of friends and do everything together. Lily is quite the character and is, typical to dog personality, excited about pretty much everything. SHE! SPEAKS! IN! EXCLAMATIONS!

One day, Ted is horrified to find that an octopus (read: tumor) has taken residence on Lily’s head. This is no ordinary octopus though — it has a personality too, and it’s trying to take Lily away from Ted. But Ted’s not going to let Lily go without a fight.

The story takes the reader through Lily’s decline in health and Ted’s journey to fight the octopus. He goes through an emotional and sometimes insane journey to finally accept that the Octopus may win. This book *will* make you cry, especially if you currently have a pet or have lost a pet.

Emotional and heartbreaking (and somehow heartwarming at the same time), LILY AND THE OCTOPUS is a must-read for 2016. This is already on my list of the top books of 2016. Put everything else down and pick this up immediately.

Immediately upon finishing this book I tweeted to Steven Rowley. That’s how awesome it was!

Purchase the book here.

I won this book through Goodreads First Reads. This does not affect my opinion of the book.