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Saturday, January 30, 2016


Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your time from your busy schedules! It is time for the A Darker Shade of Magic read-a-long to begin. well, almost. On the first of February (2/1) a grand display of those around the world will be partaking in picking up ADSOM to read before the fantastic sequel, A Gathering of Shadows, hits the shelves in a bookstore near you!

What is in store during this read-a-long, you ask?

Twitter chats! Reading with friends and fans of the book! Getting your questions answered! And pondering what badass-ery is going to be packed into the sequel!

Monday Feb 1: #ADSOMreadalong official launch. Post on blogs, Goodreads, use hashtag on Twitter. Assign Parts 1-5. 
Monday Feb 8: First #ADSOMreadalong at 9pm EST. Parts 1-5. 
Monday Feb. 15: Second #ADSOMreadalong at 9pm EST. Parts 6-10. 
Monday Feb 22nd: Final #ADSOMreadalong at 9pm EST. Parts 11-14. Let’s talk about the ending, and theories/hopes about what’s going to happen next!! 

Come join in on the festivities! It will be fun, I swear it :)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Bloggers by Day, Aspiring Writers by Night

I've hopped around blogs for the past four and a half years now, and there are a multitude of attributes that make us all different. Students. Wives. Husbands. Teenagers. Nurses. Accountants.

But there is one thing that I always find in common. Aside from being bloggers. Many of us in this gracious hobby of ours are writers by night. It comes with the title. We write and write and write all day, work our jobs, spend time with our family and friends. And then at night it is where we take to the ideas in our heads of far off lands that only we can paint. We are writers. We are aspiring for greatness.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (87): Wink Poppy Midnight

Waiting on Wednesday is a bookish meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. To join in on the waiting game festivities, click the link to Jill's blog. Leave me a comment below with what you're waiting on this Wednesday.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Review: Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

Burning Glass By Kathryn Purdie
Series: Burning Glass #1
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 512
Genre: Fantasy

Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.  Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.  As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.  BURNING GLASS is debut author Kathryn Purdie’s stunning tale of dangerous magic, heart-rending romance, and the hard-won courage it takes to let go.
 *An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

512 pages. 512 pages. 512 PAGES.

  To put this number in perspective: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is 435 and it tells the year of a boy in magic school, an analysis of depression, the backstory of the world plus a redemption story.  Burning Glass does not do any of this yet still was an extra 77 pages.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Blog Tour Guest Post & Giveaway: The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork

The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork
Publication Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 336
Genre: Contemporary
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

When Vicky Cruz wakes up in the Lakeview Hospital Mental Disorders ward, she knows one thing: She can't even commit suicide right. But for once, a mistake works out well for her, as she meets Mona, the live wire; Gabriel, the saint; E.M., always angry; and Dr. Desai, a quiet force. With stories and honesty, kindness and hard work, they push her to reconsider her life before Lakeview, and offer her an acceptance she's never had.
     But Vicky's newfound peace is as fragile as the roses that grow around the hospital. And when a crisis forces the group to split up, sending her back to the life that drove her to suicide, Vicky must try to find the strength to carry on. She may not have it. She doesn't know.
     Inspired in part by the author's own experience with depression, The Memory of Light is the rare young adult novel that focuses not on the events leading up to a suicide attempt, but the recovery from one -- about living when life doesn't seem worth it, and how we go on anyway.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Review: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 320
Genre: Contemporary
Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.
     Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.
     When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.
*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

Edgy, raw, and controversial. Debut author Laurie Elizabeth Flynn has readers ringing in the new year with sex. Firsts had me contemplating many things, and most of them were Mercedes' ideals and knowledge of her scheme at hand. One girl. 10+ guys. A helluva lot of sex. What could go wrong...? A whole fucking lot, that's what.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunday Sit-Down Rants with Eirini: Love Triangles

Meet Main Character: she's strong, independent, witty but also capable of vulnerability and mistakes. She's about the save her kingdom/ home/ friends, but, wait, what's that on the horizon? An army? A villain? A inquiring metaphor for fear? No! It's-it's-it's two guys!
Thank God, I was worried I was going to have to do something.

  Love triangles have been a part of literature since the the beginning.  Shakespeare, ancient myth, you name it and there's two people vying for the affections of the same person.  Most major writers have dabbled in the literary troupe.  At times readers are shown the view of the suitors as they battle for love a fickle person. Other times, and in most modern novels, we see the emotional turmoil of liking to two people at once.  Recently, however,  love triangles have become STDs of the young adult section of bookstores: everyone has seems to have one and some are a lot prouder about it than they should be.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Review: Captive by Aimee Carter

Captive by Aimee Carter
Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion #2
Publication Date: November 25, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 299
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction

       buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery 
For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister's niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancĂ© cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever. 
     But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she's accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape. 
     As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she'll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price?
 *An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for and honest review*

Captive takes up right where Pawn left off. Kitty learns of the vile secret behind the Hart family, the Blackcoats rebellion is stirring, and Kitty feels as though she is left out of everything. That is, until she is placed in the prison of Elsewhere labeled a traitor; the same prison she had witnessed her foster mother murdered at the hands of the elected officials. It's "The Most Dangerous Game" meets Incarceron in Elsewhere. But, like all prisons, it coincidentally holds all of the secrets that Kitty needs to know.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Fairest by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 220
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling, Science Fiction

       buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery 
In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.
     Mirror, mirror on the wall,Who is the fairest of them all?
     Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now. 
     Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series. 

Getting to know the inner workings of the villain is one of my favorite aspects about books. And getting into Levana's mind before and after she ascends to the throne swept me away. Aspiring be the fairest in all of Luna, we watch Levana fall under the affects of her own glamour, brainwash not just those around her, but ironically brainwashing herself.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Review: Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark

Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark
Publication Date: March 24, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 224
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

       buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery 
Abram and Juliette know each other. They’ve lived down the street from each other their whole lives. But they don’t really know each other—at least, not until Juliette’s mom and Abram’s dad have a torrid affair that culminates in a deadly car crash. Sharing the same subdivision is uncomfortable, to say the least. They don’t speak.
        Fast-forward to the neighborhood pharmacy, a few months later. Abram decides to say hello. Then he decides to invite her to Taco Bell. To her surprise as well as his, she agrees. And the real love story begins.
*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

Finding Mr. Brightside is the Silver Linings Playbook of Young Adult literature, or at least that's how I felt while I was reading the book. It's short. Packs a punch. And had me curious as well as giggling my head off while I read. It's not your typical contemporary novel with love being the ice cream to the cookie sandwich. Jay Clark delivers a gritty, sad story that brings two teens together in search for closure after their parents, who were having an alleged affair, pass away. A novel set-up I never expected to find on the shelves, but Jay Clark does wonders in bringing the waves of comical happiness rolling in with the emotional grit of loss, betrayal, and falling in love.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Review: A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
Series: A Study in Charlotte #1
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Young Adult novel
Pages: 336
Genre: Mystery, Retelling
    buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
The last thing sixteen-year-old Jamie Watson–writer and great-great-grandson of the John Watson–wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s enigmatic, fiercely independent great-great-granddaughter, who’s inherited not just his genius but also his vices, volatile temperament, and expertly hidden vulnerability. Charlotte has been the object of his fascination for as long as he can remember–but from the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else.Then a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Holmes stories, and Jamie and Charlotte become the prime suspects. Convinced they’re being framed, they must race against the police to conduct their own investigation. As danger mounts, it becomes clear that nowhere is safe and the only people they can trust are each other.
     Equal parts tender, thrilling, and hilarious, A Study in Charlotte is the first in a trilogy brimming with wit and edge-of-the-seat suspense.

*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

Trigger Warning: This book contains rape and drug abuse.  Both are treated  professionally and none of it is just for shock value.  There is no reference to either subject in the blog review below.

  This book surprised me.  When I read the titled I rolled my eyes but picked up the book anyway cause I love the Sherlock universe and thought this would be fun to rip apart. I was wrong to judge this book. If you love Sherlock Holmes spin-offs and remakes I highly recommend this book.  Even if the premise makes your eyes roll.  Even if you think you're too mature for such a book, pick it up.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Series: Seraphina #1
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
A Young Adult Novel
Pages: 499
Genre: Fantasy

       buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery 
Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.
        Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

While I read this book back in May 2015, it still resonates with me today. Seraphina deserves the William C. Morris debut award on every level. For a strong voice and heroine in this bildungsroman, a heavily captivating world at large, developed cultures, characters, and conflict between with humans and dragons, and the ityasaari: half-dragons. At a whopping 500 pages, it does take some getting used to the world-at-large; from understanding the creatures and politics, as well as the customs of each kingdom, there is almost a hundred page acclimation into Hartman's vivid novel. It is very much worth the lag, I believe.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Review: The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine

The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine
Series: The Impostor Queen #1
Publication Date: January 5, 2015
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Young Adult novel
Pages: 336
Genre: Fantasy, Romance

       buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery 
Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by magical priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, the home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between the love she has for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.
 *An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

The Impostor Queen was one giant, pleasant surprise. I read this book during my finals week, and rather than writing a 10 page paper you found me sitting on the couch or tucked into my bed at 2AM reading this  gem.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 New Years Resolutions

It's that time of the year again where we make promises that we try to keep, but usually fail horribly. Obviously I am speaking solely for myself, but if this has happened to anyone else, you are not alone.
Eirini and I have spent the past month thinking up ways to improve the blog (while abstaining from writing our thesis until the very last minute) and here are some of the things that we came up with!

  1. Discussion Posts! We've been talking about this for over a year now, but we are revved and ready to go with some great discussion post topics spanning from understanding ARCs, to our personal lives, to helpful blogging tips and concerns. We will also take requests from the public. No discussion is a poor discussion unless it is done in poor taste, and trust me, it won't be. Professionalism, ladies and gents, is our key component.
  2. Blog Segments! Speaking of professionalism. . . . Kinda related to the discussion posts. One or two Sundays a month, Eirini (her idea) and I (her name) are going to be featuring in Slayer Sundays where we either rant about bookish things with no strings attached, all raw, no editing or redacting. Or we both will be reading a novel together and go head to head on our opinions of the novel. One of us will be the persecution, the other will be the defense. The bookish courtroom is now in session!
  3.  Read-a-longs. Plain and simple, Storybook Slayers will host a read-a-long for a novel that has recently been published or quite dated. We will give you readers a poll to participate on the blog and linked up through Twitter. The popular choice will be the novel we read for the month. We hope to have the author guest star, and there will be giveaways at the end of the read-a-long.