Friday, September 29, 2017

Month in Review: September 2017

We're so excited that Fall is officially here! The Weres have been really busy reading and reviewing books! Is it just us or were there even more books out this month than there normally is? Here's what we've been up to in September.

What We Reviewed

We Love Lists!

We covered these topics for Top 5 Wednesday:

So Many Blog Tours, Excerpts, And Unboxings!

#RockMyTBR Recap

 Both Gretl and Rose Red completely rocked their #RockMyTBR goals for this month! This is what they read!



Rose Red

What We're Waiting For

Here are some of the new releases we're excited to get our hands on this October.
October 2
The Uncrossing by Melissa Eastlake

October 3
27 Hours (The Nightside Saga #1) by Tristina Wright
Heart and Brain: Body Language by The Awkward Yeti
The Tiger's Daughter (Their Bright Ascendancy #1) by K. Arsenault Rivera
Devils and Thieves (Devils and Thieves #1) by Jennifer Rush

Hot Pursuit (Black Knights Inc # 11 ) by Julie Ann Walker

October 10
Midnight Unleashed (Midnight Breed #15.5) by Lara Adrian
All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress #1) by Julie C. Dao

October 17
A Plague of Giants (Seven Kennings #1) by Kevin Hearne

October 23
The White Lily (Vampire Blood #3) by Juliette Cross

October 24
The Tethered Mage (Swords and Fire #1) by Melissa Caruso
Switchback (Nightshades #2) by Melissa F. Olson

October 31
A Darker Shade of Magic Collector's Edition by V.E. Schwab
Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi
The Trouble With Twelfth Grave (Charley Davidson #12) by Darynda Jones
Malice of Crows (The Shadow #3) by Lila Bowen

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Short Reviews: Autoboyography and They Both Die at the End

Christina Lauren
Release: September 12, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

I've been finished with this book for hours and I'm still dazed and in awe of it. It's one of those books that had me smiling like a goofball while making me a bit uncomfortable. It's a book with a ton of heart, love, pain, and wanting. It's one of the most beautiful and poignant books I've read this year. It has easily made it into my top five books of 2017.

I don't know the words to explain how important it is that a book like this exists. I grew up Mormon in a majority Mormon community similar to Provo. I had friends in a similar situation to Sebastian where they couldn't come out as gay/bisexual when we were in high school because we were Mormon and they didn't want to be rejected by everyone we knew and loved. They had a hard time accepting themselves for who they were and this book hit me hard even though over a decade has passed since I was in school. I was the bystander/confidant who could only watch my friends go through those heartbreaking situations but this book was so reminiscent of what they went through that it had me in tears for my friends again as well as the characters.

This is the book that I wish they could have had access to when we were teens and I'm so glad that teens now will have it. It was beautiful and emotional and I need everyone to read it! It also kind of broke me but in a good way. I had to remind myself multiple times while reading that my friends are happy now with who they are outside of the closet and I could only hope the characters would get to that point too. I have a feeling I'll be thinking about this book for a long time.

  5 / 5 Stars!

They Both Die at the End
Adam Silvera
Release: September 5, 2017
New York Times bestselling author Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day. 4 starred reviews!

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They're going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they're both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There's an app for that. It's called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.
In the tradition of Before I Fall and If I Stay, They Both Die at the End is a tour de force from acclaimed author Adam Silvera, whose debut, More Happy Than Not, the New York Times called “profound.”

They Both Die at the End is my first Silvera book and I can honestly say the hype behind his books is real. I loved this book even though it kind of broke me. It's a book about friendship and grief but also about life and living yours to the fullest. With a title like this one you'd expect the whole narrative to be sad and gloomy. And while it is sad, it's also a kind of happy one filled with love and hope. I was on the edge of my seat the whole book because I had to know if they were really going to die at the end. I won't tell you if they do or not, you'll have to read it for yourself.

Silvera takes a common premise like knowing you’re about to die and turns in into an adventure about two teenage boys who go on to live their last day in the best way possible. I absolutely fell in love with the characters. Mateo and Rufus were the perfect characters for this story and the friendship that develops between the two of them is what makes this book so special. Both boys' situations hit me hard but Mateo is the one who represents my biggest fear when I think about my own mortality. I don't ever want to have regrets for the things that I haven't done.

This book was an emotional roller coaster and made me feel a whole hell of a lot of things. And as cheesy as this sounds, it made me feel like I should be braver and really live my life more fully than I am now. I loved the way the idea of living for yourself and finding a way to make life count was talked about in this story. It was seriously beautifully done. They Both Die at the End is the kind of book that sticks with you long after you're done reading it. I can't wait to read more Adam Silvera books in the future.

P.S. I usually don't ugly cry but Bravo! Mr. Silvera for making me sob uncontrollably while reading this.

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.

  5 / 5 Stars


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Books We've Read Because of Blogging/Bookstagram

Top 5 Wednesday is a Goodreads group hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Bloggers, booktubers and bookstagrammers post 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:
Books We've Read Because of Blogging or Bookstagram

Rose Red's List
5. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
This is going to sound crazy since this book is insanely popular but I would have never heard of it if I hadn't been a part of the YA book blogging community. I've lived in only highly conservative areas since it was released and there's been no talk about it and it hasn't been in any of my local libraries. I'm so glad I had blogger friends who pointed me to this one because it was so fantastic!

 4. Geekerella by Ashley Poston
Geekerella is one of my favorite books of this year and I would never had known about it if I didn't follow several booksellers who are huge voices in the YA book blog community. I had no idea that this book was coming out until they started raving about it. I was lucky that I found out about it when I was still able to request the ARC. I'm so happy to have this geeky Cinderella retelling in my life!

3. Timekeeper by Tara Sim
Like Geekerella, I wouldn't have know that Timekeeper was a thing without YA book Twitter. Some of my friends got early copies and hearing them rave about it had me requesting the ARC so fast that my mouse probably suffered a bit of whiplash. And I'm so glad! This was one of my top five books of last year and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book!

2. The Chicagoland Vampires Series by Chloe Neill
 This is one of the series that I've picked up because Gretl (and Goldilox!) did nothing but rave about it the first two years we blogged together. I picked it up right before book 12 came out and I haven't looked back since. I adored this series! Gretl, you can tell me I told you so now.

1. The Psy-Changeling Series by Nalini Singh
It seems weird to think that I only picked up this series two years ago. I'd heard nothing but great things about it from multiple PNR/UF bloggers over the years but didn't get around to picking it up until the first book was a kindle deal to promote the new cover. I binged all the books and novellas and short stories in this series in a week around the time Shards of Hope came out and I've been a proud member of the Nalini Singh fan club. I can't believe it took me so long to pick these books up but I'm so glad I did! It's one of my all-time favorite series now.

Gretl's List
It would probably me easier for me to make a list of books I bought because of the blogging and bookstagram communities: When Dimple Met Rishi, The Lunar Chronicles, ACOTAR, just to name a few. In YA especially, I'm not good at actually reading the books everyone is talking about. But this is supposed to be a list book I've read so I'll give it a shot.

5. Roar by Cora Carmack
So there's at least one book I discovered through YA bookstagram that I did actually read. It didn't exactly live up to the hype for me, but I know other people that loved it.

4. The SWAT and X-Ops series by Paige Tyler
Several bloggers I follow love Paige Tyler, including Carmel and Melanie at Rabid reads. I just started reading her last year but I binged both series and now I'm hooked.

3. A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
I was a little bit late to this series but it came highly recommended by Jo at Vampire Book Club.

2. Mister O by Lauren Blakely
Jennifer at The Book Nympho loves Lauren Blakely. I've read four of her books from the library recently and Mister O is my favorite. They're similar to Emma Chase's books which I've talked about in the blog before.

1. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
I might not have picked up this series had Rose Red not been such a big fan of Schwab. Now you'll see it all over both the blog and our Instagram feed.


What books have you discovered through blogs and bookstagram?

Blog Tour: The Hunt by Chloe Neill Review and Giveaway

You might have noticed we're huge Chloe Neill fans. So we're excited to be part of the tour for The Hunt, the latest in her Devil's Isle series, which released Tuesday. We've got a review and a couple of great giveaways for you. Check it out!

The Hunt
(Devil's Isle #3)
Chloe Neill
Release: September 26, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Chicagoland Vampires Novels—the hunter becomes the hunted in a New Orleans devastated by a Paranormal war....
When bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered that Claire Connolly was a Sensitive and infected with magic, he should have turned her in to be locked up in the prison district known as Devil’s Isle. Instead, he helped her learn to control her power and introduced her to an underground group of Paranormals and humans who know the truth about the war and those who fought it.

Now the weight of Liam’s own secrets has forced him into hiding. When a government agent is killed and Claire discovers that Liam is the prime suspect, she races to find him before the government can. But she’ll discover proving his innocence is no simple matter. Their enemies are drawing closer, and time is running out....

First of all, can we just say how much we love the world Chloe Neill has created in the Devil's Isle series? The Hunt in particular includes lots of NOLA history and culture, which reminds us that even though this is a dystopia, it's a new one. The characters still remember our world. The characters have some "this is why we stay" moments which bring to mind stories from the Katrina aftermath. This time out Neill also explores the Louisiana bayou and history there, and we see that the world outside the city is not as changed. We also learn more about Claire's father and her family history.

We kind of hated Liam for much of the book, even though his magic is intriguing and we want to see more of it. He is broody, distant, frustrating and all alpha-protective even though he’s the one who left Claire behind. We loved how mature Claire is in the way she handles him though, walking away when he's not ready. But it almost seems like they got back together too easily, especially after that heart-ripped-out feeling we had when Liam left.

But we love the supporting cast! The Hunt opens about five weeks after the end of the previous book and Claire has been hanging out with the paranormal tech geek Moses, who is delightful and impish. We also love Liam's brother, Gavin! His banter and snark was great, though we're still trying to figure out how he scavenged both a Range Rover and a Hummer in less than a three day span. And we loved how all the other characters called Liam out on his bad decisions, even Malachi, which we did not expect. Speaking of Malachi, we are intrigued by the apparent chemistry between him and a certain new character and want to know more.

We had some issues with the plot though. The villain seems to come out of nowhere even though they've been spotted before in an earlier book. And the motive is something like OCD - they just can't stop a project once it's started. And that character's lack of empathy plays in to a certain stereotype that we could do without. The government conspiracy elements in the story also seem to wrap up too neatly and their connection to the main villain is not entirely clear.

The Hunt was not our favorite of the series - we just didn't love it like we did The Sight. We both thought it felt like a transition book that wouldn't stand on its own. But we still love these characters and couldn't put it down. (So sleep deprived right now!)

4 / 5 Stars

Our reviews of other books in this series:

We've got a prize pack to give away! (Thanks Chloe Neill!)
Prize includes:
U.K. edition of The Veil and signed Devil's Isle bookplate
Devil’s Isle tote bag - this bag is huge guys!
Devil’s Isle sticker sheet and coaster
Devil's Isle pen and “Brainstorms” notebook
(U.S. only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The fun doesn’t stop here. Want more chances to win? You can also enter THE HUNT Grand Prize Giveaway, which runs September 18 through September 29 on Chloe’s web site.
What is the Grand Prize Giveaway prize?
Fleur de Lis Intaglio Heart Pendant & Chain from New Orleans’ own Mignon Faget!
Amazon Kindle and $50 Amazon gift card
Signed Chloe Neill books
Tote bag containing Devil’s Isle and Chicagoland Vampires swag
And check out the rest of The Hunt Blog Tour - each stop has their own giveaway.
Monday, September 18 – Novel Knight Book Reviews
Tuesday, September 19 – Angel’s Guilty Pleasures
Wednesday, September 20 – Wicked Cool Flight
Thursday, September 21 – Booklovers For Life | The Book Nympho
Friday, September 22 – Consummate Reader
Monday, September 25 – Paranormally Yours
Tuesday, September 26 – Saucy Wenches | Fang-Tastic Books
Wednesday, September 27 – Goldilox and the Three Weres
Thursday, September 28 – Parajunkee | Desert Divas Book Addiction
Friday, September 29 – YA Reads
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