Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Fandoms We Are No Longer In

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:
Fandoms You Are No Longer In 


5. Black Dagger Brotherhood
Years ago I binged the BDB series and I loved it. But I got behind and just wasn't interested in picking it back up. The original story arc wrapped up and it seems to have gotten too complicated. I thought I might like the spin off series, but it's tying back in to the original cast and since I haven't kept up I'm afraid I'd be lost. That's the wrong way to do a spinoff IMO. -Gretl

4. The Shadow World by Dianne Sylvan
This is one of those series that I loved (and still love) the first book but everything went downhill from there. I liked the second book but something happened in it that pissed me off enough that I was ready to give up on the series. I decided to try the third book but I had the same experience as I did with book two. Maybe I'll finish the series some day but for now I'm just going to pretend Queen of Shadows is a standalone. - Rose Red

3. The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas
I know that so many people love this series but it's just not for me any more. I enjoyed the first book but I hated the second one. I gave up the series because of it and after seeing spoilers for later books I haven't regretted it at all. - Rose Red

2. The Study Series by Maria V. Snyder
Back in 2014, I did a Read This F@!%ing Book post on Maria V. Snyder's Study trilogy. Since then the author announced and wrote three more books in the series for a total of six books. I was so excited for the new books because at the time all I wanted was more Valek and Yelena in my life. Then the first new book came out and I did not like it. It kind of read like bad fanfiction to me. But I hoped it was a fluke and decided to try the next one. I noped out not even fifty pages in. Like with the Shadow World books, I'm just going to pretend that the original trilogy was all that was written. - Rose Red

The Vampire Diaries Poster

1. The Vampire Diaries
I started TVD after the first three seasons had already aired. I binged those on Netflix and was loving the show. (I have that a thing for spooky small towns you know.) But I quit watching about halfway through the second to last season. They left the town, lost the main character, and it's just not the same. Don't even get me started on that time jump! I used to want to read the books to compare and contrast - I know they're very different from the show. But now I'm just over the whole thing. -Gretl

Arrow Poster

(Dis?)honorable Mention: 
I'm thinking about quitting Arrow. 
I deleted the second half of the current season from my DVR without watching it. I'm just not enjoying it. It's dark and depressing and yuck. I think I've only been watching for the last year because I wanted to keep up with the plot in case of crossovers. -Gretl

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Release Day Review: White Hot by Ilona Andrews

White Hot
(Hidden Legacy #2)
Ilona Andrews
Release: May 30, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm…and their relationship burns hot

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she's used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family's detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice …

I know I say this every time a new book comes out from the writing duo that is Ilona Andrews but this book exceeded my expectations. And they were high ones since we've had to wait an extra year and a half for this book. It's pretty much fact that if Ilona Andrews writes it, I'm going to be buying it.

White Hot was everything I hoped for in this book: fun family banter, amazing chemistry between Nevada and Rogan, complicated enemies, and lots of action. The world building was great in the first book but there is so much more in this one and I'm completely here for it! I loved learning about the different kinds of magic and about Nevada's abilities along with her family history. Even the House politics were intriguing.

I've said it before and I'm going to say it again but these authors write the BEST female characters and families I've read. Nevada is so strong and capable but she still has a lot to learn about herself and her magic. I loved getting to discover what she could do along with her. Her sisters and cousins got their chance to shine in this book as well and I'm really curious to find out more about all of their different magical abilities in the future. The addition of Cornelius to the main cast of characters was amazing and I loved learning about what he could do with his powers. His animal sidekicks were delightful and the ninja ferrets were awesome!

I loved every single minute of the chemistry between Rogan and Nevada! It seriously was amazing! I loved how they grew together. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to ship them together but this book put all my doubts about their relationship to rest. There's a scene in this book with Rogan and a cat and I think it may be my new favorite thing. It's followed closely by the spy ferrets though.

The pacing of this story was spot on and the action and mystery kept me enthralled until I ran out of pages. I literally couldn't put it down. I was so absorbed in the story. The only thing I wish was different is that I had had book three in my possession to start immediately after finishing this one. I need to know what happens next!

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.

  5 / 5 Stars!

My reviews of other books in this series:
Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews

Monday, May 29, 2017

Review: The Black Lily by Juliette Cross

The Black Lily
(Vampire Blood #1)
Juliette Cross
Release: February 27, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
Cinderella like you’ve never seen before…

With the threat of the vampire monarchy becoming stronger every day, the Black Lily must take drastic measures. As the leader of the underground resistance, Arabelle concocts the perfect idea to gain the attention of the Glass Tower. Her plan? Attend the vampire prince’s blood ball and kill him. Fortunately for Prince Marius, her assassination goes awry, and Arabelle flees, leaving behind only her dagger.

Marius is desperate to find the woman whose kiss turned into attempted murder, hunting for the mysterious assassin he can’t push out of his mind. But what he uncovers could change the course of his life forever…
This book was one of those "I didn't love it but I didn't hate it." books for me. The storyline was unique but was more than a little predictable. The way the Cinderella story was tied in was kind of cool but the main characters felt a bit... lackluster to me. This may get a bit ranty but I had a hard time connecting to both Marius and Arabelle.

Arabelle takes the action of a few vampires and applies that stereotype to all vampires and doesn't begin to question if it could be wrong until she's confronted with Marius. There are two things that irritated me the most about Arabelle. One, she treats Marius terribly through the majority of the story. And two, she keeps running her rebellion on her first impression of vampires and makes some stupid decisions because of it. She did grow a bit as a character by the end of the book but it was frustrating reading her decision making thought process in some places.

Now let's talk about Marius. Marius seems about perfect. He's kind, good looking, and clearly cares about his people and the reason that he doesn't realize they're afraid and upset is because he's been seriously sheltered from the world. But that's not why I couldn't connect with him. He lets Arabelle treat him like dirt because he wants her. I can only think of one time in the whole story where he stood up for himself after she hurt him. I know that since it's a Cinderella story that it's going to be a bit instalovey but the way they fell in love and their whole coming together felt a bit too convenient despite the trials they went through.

Despite my inability to connect to the main characters, I still enjoyed the story. The secondary characters Nikolai, Sienna, and Mina and the vampire mythology are what kept me turning the pages. I'm interested to learn more about them, the hartwolves, and the hartstone. The next book is about Sienna and Nikolai and I'm totally here for that pairing. I'll definitely be getting my hands on book two at some point.

  3 / 5 Stars

Friday, May 26, 2017

Summer Reads: Our Most Anticipated

It's Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial beginning of summer, and it's got us thinking about summer reading. What books are you planning to take to the pool, the lake, or grandma's house in the next few months? Here are some of our most anticipated summer releases.

22303684 27422533

White Hot/ Wildfire (Hidden Legacy #2 and 3) by Ilona Andrews
Release: May 30 and July 25, 2017
I'm binging this series next week. Burn For Me is one of my favorite books and I feel like I've been waiting forever for the series to continue.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Release: May 30, 2017
I'm not usually a contemporary person but even I have to admit that YA is killing it with amazing contemps this year. I'm so excited to read this book! I haven't read any books about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged their marriage. Mix in the fact that only one of them knows about the arranged marriage and a web development summer camp they're both attending and I can't help but be intrigued. This book sounds adorable!


Silver Silence (Psy-Changeling Trinity #1) by Nalini Singh
Release: June 13, 2017
All you really need to say is "new Nalini Singh" and it would go on this list. We love her so much! Silver Silence introduces us to the Russian bear shifters and follows the Psy and Changelings after the signing of the Trinity Accord.

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) by Victoria Schwab
Release: June 13, 2017
Like with Nalini Singh, all you have to say is "new Schwab book" and it will make it on our most anticipated list. I'm so excited and scared to read this sequel. I loved This Savage Song and I'm nervous to see what further trouble Kate and August will get into.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee
Release: June 27, 2017
The author describes this book as "the big gay European road trip novel set in the 18th century that you didn't know you needed". This book is getting all the hype and all the stars from professional reviewers. I'm reading it right now and it's living up to the hype so far. It's amazing and it's both racially and sexually diverse. I need more books like this in my life!

Besieged (The Iron Druid Chronicles #8.5) by Kevin Hearne
Release: July 11, 2017
An Iron Druid short story collection? YES! PLEASE! I've missed having new stories from Atticus, Oberon, and the gang so I can't wait to see what sorts of shenanigans they get into in these stories.


The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
Release: July 18, 2017
I love this cover so much. Plus, magic and time travel. I'm really excited about this one!

The Dire King (Jackaby #4) by William Ritter
Release: August 22, 2017
It seems like it was just yesterday that I read the first Jackaby book. I can't believe that were already at the end of the series. I'm looking forward to see what hijinks my favorite paranormal investigators get into in this book but I am totally not ready to say goodbye to this amazing series with its ghosts, assistants-turned-ducks, and shapeshifting kittens.


Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Release: August 29, 2017
Wonder Woman is the first of the DC superheroes who are getting their own YA books. Warbringer is about a teenaged Diana saving the world for the first time.

What books are you looking forward to this summer?


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Minor Characters

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 Minor Characters 
Minor characters are less than a sidekick or a side character (but not in our hearts!) Everyone will have a different definition of what makes a minor vs a side character but just as an example, I'd consider Ron and Hermione side characters, while Lavender Brown, Oliver Wood, and Dean Thomas are minor characters.


5. Bellatrix Lestrange and Delores Umbridge from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Sometimes the bad guys are so much fun! I didn't want to make an entire list of Harry Potter characters, but I also love Dobby and Kreature.


4. Bob the Skull from The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher 
Bob is kind of like a genie in a lamp, but instead of granting wishes he stores obscure magical knowledge and instead of a genie he's a pervert.

3. Annabelle Shaw from the Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill
The Chicagoland Vampires books have a ton of A+ side/minor characters but Annabelle, the friendly neighborhood necromancer, easily became a favorite when she appeared on the page in Midnight Marked. I would love it if she got her own novella or book some day!

2. Oberon from The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne
I have a lot of favorite talking animal companions but Oberon is hands down my favorite! He is hilarious and I love his relationship with Atticus! I can't help but grin every time he makes an appearance in the books.

1. Jupe Butler from the Arcadia Bell series by Jenn Bennett
My all-time favorite teenaged half-demon film buff! I'm still hoping Jenn Bennett will write a YA spin off starring Jupe one day.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Bookish Product Review: Bookmarks from Nerdygrl Designs

So I've been shopping for bookish products to add to our upcoming blogoversary giveaway and I just couldn't resist these magnetic bookmarks from Nerdygrl Designs. Aren't those unicorns just the cutest thing ever? Her name is Princess Sparkles!
I like that the style of these bookmarks is more realistic than some of the others I've seen. The faces have more detail, for example. They're a little bit larger than some other bookmarks too. And I think the paper is a good weight so I'm not worried about it tearing or wrinkling.
Left to right: Jem from Mortal Instruments by Happy Hello, Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Nerdygrl, Iko from Wires and Nerve by Kaelis Paperie.

The Nerdygrl bookmarks are the same on front on back, rather than showing the characters' backs on one side like some others do. In some cases, like with creatures, I like the backs but most of the time I don't think it matters so that's not a criticism so much as an observation.
Every month Melisa includes a different freebie in each order. I ordered at the end of April so I got this cute chocolate Easter bunny.
My order arrived faster than I expected so I was quite happy with the service. I'll definitely order from Nerdygrl Designs again. I have to get the rest of those unicorns!

Other Bookish Product Reviews
Wax melts from Novelly Yours

Do you like our bookish product reviews?
What products would you like to see next?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Five Reasons to Read Borrowed Souls by Chelsea Mueller

Today I'm going to try something different than my standard review. I'm going to try out a list-style review format where I give you the reasons why I think you should pick this book up. I'm going to keep my reasoning spoiler free so you can read on without any fear. :)

Borrowed Souls
(Soul Charmer #1)
Chelsea Mueller
Release: May 2, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
Callie Delgado always puts family first, and unfortunately her brother knows it. She’s emptied her savings, lost work, and spilled countless tears trying to keep him out of trouble, but now he’s in deeper than ever, and his debt is on Callie’s head. She’s given a choice: do some dirty work for the mob, or have her brother returned to her in tiny pieces.

Renting souls is big business for the religious population of Gem City. Those looking to take part in immoral—or even illegal—activity can borrow someone else’s soul, for a price, and sin without consequence.

To save her brother, Callie needs a borrowed soul, but she doesn’t have anywhere near the money to pay for it. The slimy Soul Charmer is willing to barter, but accepting his offer will force Callie into a dangerous world of magic she isn’t ready for.

With the help of the guarded but undeniably attractive Derek—whose allegiance to the Charmer wavers as his connection to Callie grows—she’ll have to walk a tight line, avoid pissing off the bad guys, all while struggling to determine what her loyalty to her family’s really worth.

Losing her brother isn’t an option. Losing her soul? Maybe.

Five Reasons To Pick Up This Book:

1. Callie Delagado-
One of my favorite things about urban fantasy is the variety of heroines you see across the genre. You have badass warriors, powerful magic wielders, and then you have the Callies who are determined average women who do all they can. I had a hard time connecting to Callie at first but I soon came to love her. She's incredibly loyal. Her family is her weakness and she'll do anything to take care of them. I loved that she's imperfect. She knows she is and she doesn't make excuses for her weaknesses. I'm intrigued to see what happens to her as the series progresses.

2. The Family Dynamics- Callie's motto is that you put family first and from the first page you can tell that her family is the most important thing to her. She has spent most of her 22 years of life taking care of her mother and brother who are both manipulative and have used the past to keep Callie their slave. I found the lengths Callie would go to for her family to be intriguing. She's forced into one bad situation after another because of her brother but she never abandons them. I haven't read many books with these kind of family dynamics and I found it kind of awful but refreshing? I have mixed feelings about this obviously.

3. The Worldbuilding- It wouldn't be one of my reviews if I didn't mention worldbuilding, would it? The world in this book is so fascinating! Religion is king and everyone does everything in their power to keep their souls uncompromised. But people still want to do all the fun, sinful stuff. The solution? Borrow a soul so yours stays pristine. Of course things are more complicated than that as we find out. I really loved the world and I can't wait to see it expand in the next books.

4. The Secondary Characters- I'm not going to say much about this point but the secondary characters are awesome in this book. It's a diverse cast and they all have their own motivations and agendas that are slowly revealed throughout the book. Each character isn't purely good or evil and I loved that they were so multi-faceted. I hope we see more of a few of them as the series continues.

5. The Romance- I loved the romance that Mueller wrote. Seriously, the romance is A+ quality romance. It's not slow slow burn but it moves more slowly than some. Derek is an enforcer for the Soul Charmer but under his gruff exterior is a kind and protective sweetheart. I LOVED HIM! I look forward to seeing their relationship grow.

I enjoyed the heck out of Borrowed Souls and can't wait for the next one in the series! Hopefully, I convinced you to go pick this book up. I promise you won't be disappointed if you do.

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss

  4 / 5 Stars

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...