“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.

“100 Days” by Nicole McInnes

28820890-1★★★☆☆ New release Tuesday (a day late!)

Agnes doesn’t know it yet, but she has 100 days left to live. She has progeria–a disease that makes a child’s body age way faster than normal (and Agnes, at 16, is lucky to have survived this long). Her best friend, Moira, takes care of her like a bodyguard and a mom, escorting her through the halls so she doesn’t get injured and driving her in a special car seat to and from school. But Agnes doesn’t want to be coddled. She knows she isn’t long for this world, so she wants to live it up, get all the experiences that she’s missed out on in her short life.

One day, they bump into their old friend, Boone, in the cafeteria. This sets in motion a series of days full of grief, hardship, but also friendship.

Told from alternating views of all three characters and counting down from day 100, this is a light read that also deals with some somber topics. It’s a great reminder to keep your friends close, enjoy every moment you have with loved ones, and to experience everything possible while you can.

Purchase the book here.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Waiting on Wednesday – LABYRINTH LOST by Zoraida Cordova

Waiting on Wednesday is a fun new post I’m going to be using occasionally to highlight books that aren’t out yet that I am either 1) super excited to read, or 2) I have read an advance copy and I want to tell you how much you’re going to love it!

LABYRINTH LOST is amazing. I read it a few weeks ago and I am just so excited for you all to read it and talk with me about it! It comes out on September 6, 2016, so there are only 3 weeks left to wait!

It’s also got a gorgeous cover! See for yourself!


Here’s the official blurb:

Alex is a Bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

Are you intrigued yet? Of course you are!

You can buy the book on Amazon, or you can pre-order through Books of Wonder and get it signed and personalized by the author!

Look out for my official review closer to the pub date!

#ReadThemAllThon!

ReadThemAllThon

I’ve decided to join the #ReadThemAllThon hosted by Read at Midnight! It runs from August 14th through September 4th. Basically there are 8 challenges to complete and you get points for every book read (and some more things like tweeting!). It’s a great way to get a bunch of your books knocked off the ol’ TBR!

This time, it’s Pokemon themed. (Which isn’t really that interesting to me personally, but I can get behind a challenge for sure!)

Below, I list the challenges and the books I hope to read for them! My pokemon is Magikarp, because if I read a lot of books, I’m told it’s the best points-wise.

ReadThemAllThon-Badge01-Boulder
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
ReadThemAllThon-Badge02-Cascader
The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner
ReadThemAllThon-Badge03-Thunder
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
ReadThemAllThon-Badge04-Rainbow
The Reader by Traci Chee
ReadThemAllThon-Badge05-Soul
The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
ReadThemAllThon-Badge06-Marsh
A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
ReadThemAllThon-Badge07-Flame
The Graces by Laure Eve
ReadThemAllThon-Badge08-Earth
The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

So anyway, wish me luck! I am really excited to see how I do on this challenge. Are you participating in #ReadThemAllThon? What are you excited to knock off your TBR?

“The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko” by Scott Stambach

★★★★☆ New release Tuesday!28221009

The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko is, simply put, as if The Fault in Our Stars took place in a hospital/orphanage in Russia with mutant children.

Ivan was born a mutant–he has one arm, and nubs where his other arm and legs should be. His face droops and he has trouble speaking, and he’s been in the Mazyr Hospital for Gravely Ill Children for his entire life. Despite all his physical deformities, Ivan is very smart and observant. He reads nonstop and is very astute at observing the health of his fellow patients.

Ivan, with the encouragement of the caring Nurse Natalya, has decided to write his story. The story is an account of Ivan’s life, how he feels, who his fellow patients are, and various other observations, up to the point where he meets Polina, and ending a few days after her death. (Not a spoiler, this is found out in the first page!) She changes his life from the moment he hears she will be coming to Mazyr Hospital. And his life will never be the same afterwards.

Neither will my life be the same, to be honest. This book was heartbreaking, funny, introspective, and devastating. I tore through this one in two days and after the last page I was just profoundly sad–but in a good way, where you know you read something important.

Purchase the book here.

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

“Nevernight” by Jay Kristoff

★★★★★ New release Tuesday!26114463.jpg

OKAY YOU GUYS. I’m so excited. Let’s talk about Nevernight. This is one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year. It’s dark, violent, steamy, exciting, mind-bending, intense, funny, and so much more. This book made me have feels. So many feels. And I hardly ever have feels this intense for a book.

Mia Corvere’s dad was hung and her mom and brother imprisoned, so naturally she wants revenge more than life itself. She decides that the best way to do this is to join the Red Church, a school for assassins, to compete to become a Blade (essentially an elite assassin) so that she can get her revenge on the Administratii officials that are responsible.

This book has an amazing world built that is so intricate and fascinating that I could not put this book down. There are awesome supporting characters–Tric, the Dweymeri boy who Mia teams up with, the Shahiids at the Red Church, the other assassins-in-training…the list goes on and on.

I do have a disclaimer here–that at the beginning of this book you may be confused about what is going on, and that’s because there is so much to build. And here, I’ll just have to tell you to trust me (and the legion of other reviewers that love this book). Get through the first section in Nevernight and you’ll be SO hooked and happy you persevered. Definitely pick this one up, preferably in Hardcover as there are many footnotes that (I personally think) read better in a physical format.

Now go! Go buy it! Go buy it now!

Purchase the book here.

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

“It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover

★★★★☆ New release Tuesday!27362503

This was my first Colleen Hoover book, and I have to say, I can see why she appeals to so many readers.

Lily Bloom is a twenty-something living in Boston, working at a marketing job. By complete chance, she meets Ryle Kincaid, a neurosurgeon who tries to convince her to follow her dreams, her instincts — and to have a one-night-stand (which sounds sleazy in this context, but in the story it has some background to it). She declines and moves on with her life.

Six months later, she is following her dream of finally opening her own flower shop. A woman enters the space the day Lily buys it and offers to help her set it up and run it, for something to do. It just so happens that this woman, Alyssa Kincaid (you can see where this is going), is Ryle’s sister and temporary roommate!

So Lily and Ryle are pursuing the possibilities of a relationship (monogamous or otherwise), and meanwhile, we are getting flashbacks via Lily’s diaries from when she was a teenager. They mainly feature two things: (1) her budding friendship with the homeless boy that lives in the abandoned house behind hers, Atlas Corrigan, and (2) her parents’ abusive marriage. One day, Lily and Ryle run into Atlas, whom Lily hasn’t seen in about a decade. Thus begins a scary, confusing part of all three characters’ lives.

This book covers an important topic: abusive relationships. This is such a great look at these relationships, how they affect all in and around the relationship, and what can be done about them. Relationships (whether romantic, friendly, or familial) are almost always not black and white, but instead very gray. It Ends With Us shows how real, raw, and confusing life and relationships can truly be. Even if new adult, contemporary romance isn’t your thing, I think this book would still be enjoyable and informative for all to read.

Purchase the book here.

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” by JK Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

harry-potter-cursed-child-final-cover★★★★★

This was totally worth the wait. So utterly magical I almost want to go read it again right now. I’m going to #KeeptheSecrets with this review, so no worry of spoilers!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is not like the first seven Harry Potter books, so if you go into reading it with that in mind, you may be confused. It’s a screenplay, and while it took me a couple of chapters to get used to the format, it ultimately read like a normal story after a while, with stage direction painting the scene. I cannot even imagine how amazing this is in the actual play. It has to be utterly beautiful.

The story follows Albus Potter as he goes to Hogwarts and learns that life isn’t any easier at school than it was at home, having the “Boy Who Lived” as his father. He doesn’t get along with many people and he seems generally at odds with everything he encounters. But one day, Albus decides to do something that will change the direction of his life. (And that’s where I’ll stop so you can discover for yourself but it is so great and magical!)

Bottom line — this was a magnificent addition to the Harry Potter world. It has all of the old favorite characters, plus some new very colorful ones thrown in. I could not put it down once I picked it up (clearly, since I’m posting this review 3 hours after it came out where I live!). I really think that Harry Potter fans and readers in general are going to enjoy this story and the multitudes of more wizarding world facts we have now. #HarryPotterForever

Purchase the book here.

“Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon

rev-everythingeverything02★★★★☆ — Maddie has SCID, also known as bubble baby syndrome. She has lived her entire life up to now in her home, taking school over the internet, for the last 18 years. But when a cute and interesting boy moves in next door, her life changes drastically.

This book holds a special place in my heart as I suffer from lots of different allergies (but nowhere near SCID). I like to tell people about my allergy test to explain: I was tested for allergies to 64 things, and I was NOT allergic to FOUR of them.

A coming-of-age, coming-out-of-the-house YA contemporary, you’ll find yourself holding your breath, laughing, and crying. Told through internal dialogue and online chats, this book is a breezy read that you’ll definitely have a reaction to.

Purchase the book here.

Nicola Yoon has a new book coming out this November, too: The Sun is Also a Star. I snagged an ARC at BEA — be on the lookout for my review!

“Dark Matter” by Blake Crouch

★★★★☆ New release Tuesday!

Dark Matter hooked me from the first page. I had been highly anticipating this title for a while and was excited to meet Blake Crouch at BEA and have my book signed. But boy, was I in for a ride! I devoured this book in 4 hours. Didn’t move, didn’t think about anything else.

IMG_8875.jpg
Look how happy I am. I’ve only been stalking the Penguin booth for 2 days waiting for this!

Jason Dessen was on his way to becoming a world-renowned scientist, and his girlfriend Daniela was an up-and-coming artist. But when Daniela finds out she is pregnant, both she and Jason decide to put their careers aside to have a family. They are both happy with their home, their son, Charlie, and their simple lives.

One day after walking home from the grocery store, Jason is kidnapped at gun-point by a man in a mask. He is forced to strip and go into an abandoned warehouse where he is drugged and passes out. When he wakes up on a gurney, surrounded by people he doesn’t know who are congratulating him on a job well done, he knows something bad has happened.

I don’t want to spoil anything for you, because you need to go read this for yourselves. It’s a sci-fi thriller, but it was just within the realms of my grasp, science-wise. Dark Matter is just near impossible to put down — you need to know what happens to Jason. Why is the world different after his kidnapping? Was his life all a dream? You can speculate and speculate on what is going on, and I’m 99% sure you wouldn’t guess all the twists in this book. JUST STOP READING THIS REVIEW AND GO READ IT ALREADY!

Purchase the book here.

I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.