Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Future Classics

Top 5 Wednesday is a group of bloggers, booktubers and bookstagrammers posting on a common topic every (you guessed it) Wednesday. You can find the lists by searching #T5W or Top 5 Wednesday. And you can join the group on Goodreads if you want to participate.

This week's topic is Future Classics
These are recent releases that we think will stand the test of time.

5. The Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson
Sanderson is well-known for fantasy books with complex worldbuilding and unique magic systems. In fact, he already has several books that already appear on those "100 Fantasy Books You Need To Read Before You Die" lists. But out of all of his books I feel like his Mistborn series are the most likely to end up as a fantasy classic. It's a heist novel unlike any heist novel I've ever read and the magic system is amazing but it's the characters that make it so loved. It's already 10 years old and I think that it will continue to weather the tests of time.

4. The Martian by Andy Weir
The Martian is one of my favorite sci-fi books ever. Mark Watney's story of survival on Mars is both hilarious and heartbreaking. It's not just a survival story though. It's a tale about humanity coming together to get one man home. If that's not a qualifier for a classic, I don't know what is.

3. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
I don't think I really need to say why I think this series as a whole will be counted as a fantasy classic in the future. It's an epic series that changed a whole generation of readers. How could it not become a classic?

2. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
Coming of age stories combined with a magical quest are always a great basis for a book to be named a fantasy classic. Stiefvater takes this premise and sets it in the middle of nowhere Virginia where five teens are hunting for the resting place of a Welsh king. It's unique and original and very beloved. It would make my heart so happy to see this series become a classic in the future.

1. The Shades of Magic Series by V.E. Schwab
My love for this series borders on the line of my gushing becoming word vomit. It takes the portal fantasy set in London trope and turns it on its head. The world and the magic system are both intriguing and unique. Plus, the characters are amazing! Schwab says that this series is her attempt to achieve the same kind of escapism that Harry Potter provided for her and so many of us in our teen years. I definitely think she achieved her goal and nothing would make me happier to see such an amazing series be named a classic and a fantasy must read.

Which SFF books do you think are going to become classics?


Monday, March 27, 2017

Review: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart
Jenn Bennett
Release: November 3, 2015
Goodreads Amazon
Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive, and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in her family’s closet tear them apart?

Okay. I'm going to try to keep this review short because if I don't I’m going to get all gushy and ramble on and on about how much I adored it! I struggle with reading YA books especially with most of the romances but The Anatomical Shape of a Heart is one of my absolute favorite YA contemporaries. Ever.

I was a little nervous going into this book because I’m not a big fan of contemporary books whether they’re adult or YA. But I absolutely adore Jenn Bennett’s adult paranormal and urban fantasy series so I decided to give her YA debut a shot. And I’ll admit that the premise fascinated me! I’ve never read a book that’s a romance between an aspiring anatomy artist and a notorious graffiti artist. Heck! I don’t think I’ve even heard of a book with an anatomy artist in it.

From the very second the two main characters met, I was hooked. I wanted more of them… more of their banter and more of them falling for each other. Seriously! I loved them! Bex is probably among my most favorite female characters I’ve read in contemporary fiction. She’s delightfully quirky and I loved her wit and humor! I would want her as my best friend in real life.

And Jack! Oh, Jack! I adored him! Life has dealt him kind of a terrible hand but he’s not going to let that get in the way of him finding happiness. And he works so hard for that happiness, guys! So when Bex walks in to his life, he wants to hold on tight with both hands and never let her go. I absolutely adored the way he pursued her. They are seriously cute together! Like seriously, their dialogue is the best and their romance made me grin like a fool!

Hey Bex?” Jack said as he grated. “Just so we’re clear, if we were alone, I’d probably kiss you right now.”

I gave him a swift glance as the hallway laughter made its way back to the kitchen. “Just so we’re clear, I’d probably let you.”

You guys! THIS BOOK! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved seeing these two fall more and more for each other. Also, this book was very sex positive and I think we need more of that in books in general but we especially need it in YA. If you’re looking for an amazing YA romance that is realistically written and adorable, you need to check this book out! You won’t be disappointed, I promise!

  5 / 5 Stars!!!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Books I Want to Read This Spring

I've been seeing so many posts this week featuring everyone's Spring TBRs and it got me to thinking about the books that I want to read this season. I probably won't get to some of these because I'm a huge mood reader who has been stuck in a manga binge read for months now. But there are several new releases that I can't wait to read once I get my hands on them.

I'm going to divide this post into backlist books I want to read, rereads, and new releases. Let's talk about the new releases first.

New Releases

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Jenn Bennett is one of my auto-buy authors so I was already going to buy this book. But I was completely sold as soon as I was told that this book is a YA You've Got Mail. Doesn't that sound amazing!?! I can't wait to read this one!

Skullsworn by Brian Staveley
I'm a huge fan of Staveley's debut trilogy, Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, so I'm super excited to get my hands on this standalone spinoff about our favorite assassin and priestess. This book is all about Pyrre's backstory and her journey to pass her trial to become a priestess of the God of Death. *grabby hands*

Hunted by Meagan Spooner
I actually don't know much about this one aside from that it's a Beauty and the Beast retelling that has been compared with the genius that is Robin McKinley's Beauty which is my favorite retellings of this classic tale. And of course, it's one of those books that it seems like everyone in my corner of the online book community is loving right now. I was sold on the McKinley comparison alone.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston
A Cinderella retelling that takes place at a comic convention? YES! GIVE IT TO ME NOW! I'm so excited to read this book. It's getting a ton of good buzz in the blogging community and some of my trusted book friends have done nothing but rave about it. I'm so ready for it!

Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner
This book has been one of those books I've been waiting YEARS for. Seven to be exact. I completely adore this series and I've wanted this next book ever since I finished A Conspiracy of Kings in 2010. I NEED MAY TO GET HERE FASTER! I need this book in my hand ASAP!

Backlist Books

Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier
I'm going to be honest. I went and saw the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie and now I want to read all of the retellings I have on my shelf and Kindle. I actually can't remember what this one is about besides it being a retelling. I've had it on my bookshelf for a long time. Hopefully I'll get to it soon!

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
 I had forgotten about this book until it got a new cover for the paperback release. It makes me want to read it so much! It's so cool, right?!? Also, I need more Hogwarts-like fiction and boys falling in love in my life .

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
I got this book for Christmas and I'm so excited to read it! The animated adaptation of this book is my all-time favorite Miyazaki film and I can't wait to read it! In my opinion, we all need more Howl in our lives.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
 This book is being adapted into a film and I want to read it! The only things I know about it is that there's something about Oreos and boys falling in love with boys. There is SO much hype around this book in the online book community and I'm really excited to get to it!

Winter by Marissa Meyer
 I have no idea why I haven't read this yet. It's going to happen this year though! I started my audiobook reread of the previous books this week and I'm so happy to be back in the world of The Lunar Chronicles.


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
This series quickly catapulted itself into the top five on my favorite series of all-time list. I can't get it out of my head and I haven't stopped reading fanfic since I finished the last book. I NEED MORE OF BLUE AND HER RAVEN BOYS IN MY LIFE! Also, I need to kill time until Stiefvater finishes the Ronan trilogy she's working on. My plan is to reread the series via audio after I finish my Lunar Chronicles reread.

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
My excitement over the next book has made me realize it's been awhile since I've reread this series. I've missed Eugenides and his shenanigans and I can't wait to revisit this world!

Beauty by Robin McKinley
I mentioned that the new Beauty and the Beast movie has made me want to read all the retellings, right? It's been a few years since I reread this one and its been tempting me to pick it up ever since I got out of the theater last week. I'm going to have to make room in my reading schedule for it. :)

Timekeeper by Tara Sim
Timekeeper was one of my favorite books last year and I can't get it out of my head. I keep thinking of the mythology and the characters. Especially a certain clock spirit. :) I've been hearing good things about the audiobook that just released so maybe I should add it to my list of books to reread on audio.

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
I'm moving next month and I just finished packing my bookshelves. My friend who was helping me asked me what this book was about which lead to me gushing for the next half hour about how good it was. I had the hardest time trying to put it in a box after that because now I want to reread it. I need a timeturner so I can read all of the books I want to this year.

What books are you wanting to read this spring?


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Angsty Romances

Top 5 Wednesday is a group of bloggers, booktubers and bookstagrammers posting on a common topic every (you guessed it) Wednesday. You can find the lists by searching #T5W or Top 5 Wednesday. And you can join the group on Goodreads if you want to participate.

This week's topic is Favorite Angsty Romances

We kind of avoid the angsty romances in books but came up with lots of TV and movie ships that bring the dark and broody. I almost called this a TV/movie list, but most of these are actually based on books, I just haven't read them yet.

5. Buffy and Angel in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
He's the ultimate broody boyfriend. He was even the Big Bad for a while. Talk about angst! I'm glad we weren't doing ship names when the show was on, because Bangel? Bungle? Yeah, no.

4. Clace - Jace and Clary from Shadowhunters
First they're a couple, then they're brother and sister, then they're not. Talk about tortured! I'm kind of rooting for them even if they are related.

3. Bill and Sookie from True Blood
In this case I have actually read the books. Book Bill is a lot angstier and arguably more romantic, looking after Sookie long after they've broken up.
 tv hbo vampire true blood eric northman GIF
2. Bellarke - Bellamy and Clarke from The 100
I know, technically Clarke and Bellamy aren't a couple, and that's probably a good thing for Bellamy since Clarke's significant others tend to meet untimely ends, but the emotional connection is there if the chaos will stop long enough for them to see it. Who has time for romance when you're trying to stop a war, or save humanity?
 the 100 GIF
1. Veronica and JD in Heathers
If you've actually seen the whole movie, you might not want to call this a romance - it's a little bit Harley and Mr. J. But this movie is the epitome of angst. In fact, every time I see the word I hear Winona Ryder.

Tell us about your favorite angsty romances in the comments.

All images via

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Novella Review: Brother's Ruin by Emma Newman

Brother's Ruin
(Industrial Magic #1)
Emma Newman
Release: March 14, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
The year is 1850 and Great Britain is flourishing, thanks to the Royal Society of the Esoteric Arts. When a new mage is discovered, Royal Society elites descend like buzzards to snatch up a new apprentice. Talented mages are bought from their families at a tremendous price, while weak mages are snapped up for a pittance. For a lower middle class family like the Gunns, the loss of a son can be disastrous, so when seemingly magical incidents begin cropping up at home, they fear for their Ben's life and their own livelihoods.

But Benjamin Gunn isn't a talented mage. His sister Charlotte is, and to prevent her brother from being imprisoned for false reporting she combines her powers with his to make him seem a better prospect.

When she discovers a nefarious plot by the sinister Doctor Ledbetter, Charlotte must use all her cunning and guile to protect her family, her secret and her city.

Brother's Ruin is the first in a new gaslamp fantasy series by Emma Newman.

I'm going to be honest. I'm sad that I didn't enjoy this novella as much as I wanted to. It had the potential to be great (the series still has the potential to become great as this was only the first book), but I was left disappointed by the end. And most of my disappointment revolves around one thing that happens about halfway through. 

Brother’s Ruin started out fantastically! It started with great family dynamics where everyone cares about each other and put each other first. It's not often that you read a book where the heroine is driven to do things in the best interest of herself and her family. I really loved the brother and sister relationship between Charlotte and Benjamin.

I really liked Charlotte at first. She knows what she wants and isn't afraid to work for it. She isn't afraid to go against societal norms. And I adored that she was happily engaged to a guy of her own free will and choice. It’s so rare to read a story where a girl is looking forward to her upcoming nuptials and not trying to get out of them. It was really refreshing that she was in love with a guy already when the story starts.

As I said, I loved her at the first. Then the thing happened about halfway and it drained all of my enjoyment out of the story. What's that thing you ask? Charlotte meets this handsome guy and it's like her personality did a 180. She's suddenly a different person from the one that I liked so much at first. She becomes infatuated with this guy and the story just went down hill from there for me. Can fiction quit it with the freaking love triangles already?!? This story would have worked perfectly with a nice guy she doesn’t have any feelings about whatsoever. There are such things as platonic relationships but instead we have to suffer through a love triangle.

Overall, I liked the story. The world and the magic system was great and the mystery was good. This series has potential to become something amazing. I'm just not sure I want to continue because of the borked romantic plot line. I'll probably wait to make that decision after people I trust have read book two.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley

  3 / 5 Stars

Friday, March 17, 2017

Weres Wanna Know: Monthy TBR, Yearly TBR, or No TBR?

Weres Wanna Know is a new discussion feature where we share a topic that's been on our minds and invite you to share your thoughts as well.

Recently, I've been thinking a lot about TBRs. Specifically I've been thinking about how bad I am about sticking to the monthly TBRs I set for myself. Each month I pick out an average of six books and I maybe read two of those tops. Part of my problem is that I'm a serious mood reader so books that I want to read at the first of the month aren't the ones I want to read by the middle of the month.

Conversely, I do really well with making a yearly TBR list and sticking without. I usually complete 75% of the 100 or so books I choose to read at the beginning of each year. I think the longer time span counteracts my mood reading perfectly so I'm more successful with a yearly TBR compared to a monthly one.

So us Weres wanna know...

Do you like making TBRs?
Do you make a monthly one or a yearly one? 
Do you have any tips or tricks that'll help us stick to a set TBR?

If you have a topic you'd like to see discussed in a Weres Wanna Know post, let us know in the comments, send us a Facebook message, or email

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Books That Betrayed Us

Top 5 Wednesday is a group of bloggers, booktubers and bookstagrammers posting on a common topic every (you guessed it) Wednesday. You can find the lists by searching #T5W or Top 5 Wednesday. And you can join the group on Goodreads if you want to participate.

Beware the Ides of March!
This week's topic is Books You Felt Betrayed By

5. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
I'm not going to say how this book betrayed me but if you've read it, you know what I'm talking about. WHY, SANDERSON? WHY? -Rose Red


4. The Anita Blake Series by Laurel K. Hamilton
It's not unusual for the later books in a long-running series to feel different than the early ones as characters evolve and worlds get more complex. This series started as a pretty dark urban fantasy. In fact, it's one of the series that defined the genre. And while that paranormal mystery element is still there, it's gotten completely overshadowed by the sex scenes. I have no problem with them being there, but when it's the only thing I remember about the book, that's a problem. - Gretl

3. Cold Blooded by Amanda Carlson
This was a different kind of betrayal, but felt like one nonetheless. The first book in the Jessica McClain series was brilliant and the second nearly as good. This third book was just badly written. Even though I finished the series, none of the subsequent books were as good as those first two. -Gretl


2. Iced by Karen Marie Moning
This is another series that just didn't go where it said it would. Iced was supposed to begin a new arc with a new main character. (Since that character was 14 it had lots of people trying to call it YA which is so wrong, but that's a different issue.) But after that book, the series went right back to its original narrator whose story wasn't over after all. Add to that the way the author handled the controversy surrounding the audiobook narrator and I just couldn't bring myself to continue the series even though I loved the earlier books. -Gretl

1. Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill
We're not going to tell how this book betrayed us either, but if you've read it you know. The series definitely redeemed itself but the wait for book five was painful. - Rose Red and Gretl

What books do you feel the most betrayed by?


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