Blog Tour | Kingdom of Ash and Briars

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five-stars

It’s been a great while since I’ve posted, but I’m coming back with a great new book that you need to put on the top of your TBR stack . . . like right now!

Review

Kingdom of Ash and Briars is a stunning and eloquent YA fantasy read from new author Hannah West. Hannah does a miraculous job seeming stories from Cinderella to Mulan to even a bit of Jane Austen’s Emma into one fabulous and swoon-worthy tale.

My most favorite part of this book is by far Bristal’s character. Not only is she a true bad ass, but she also has so much wit behind her. The whole being able to change shape is also the superpower I have always desired to have. (Even more so than flying, so naturally Bristal is kind of my favorite heroine to date.)

So I know what many of you are thinking . . . Oh gosh, another fairytale retelling—they are all the same! I’ll admit most fairytale retellings often sound redundant, but Hannah takes a whole new meaning on the word “retelling”. Most retellings center around the princess/heroine of the story, but Hannah twists the “retelling” characters and makes them part of the story but not the main focus—creating such a unique read. (Kudos, Hannah!)

To get the low down of more things KOAAB and the blog tour check out the synopsis/details below. Oh! And don’t forget to BUY THIS BOOK. Seriously, you won’t regret it.

Synopsis

Bristal, an orphaned kitchen maid, lands in a gritty fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she is an elicromancer with a knack for shape-shifting. An ancient breed of immortal magic beings, elicromancers have been winnowed down to merely two – now three – after centuries of bloody conflict in the realm. Their gifts are fraught with responsibility, and sixteen-year-old Bristal is torn between two paths. Should she vow to seek the good of the world, to protect and serve mortals? Or should she follow the strength of her power, even if it leads to unknown terrors? She draws on her ability to disguise herself as a man to infiltrate a prince’s band of soldiers, and masquerades as a fairy godmother to shield a cursed princess, but time is running out. As an army of dark creatures grows closer, Bristal faces a supernatural war. To save the kingdoms, Bristal must find the courage to show her true form.

Building on homages to CinderellaSleeping Beauty, Jane Austen’s Emma and the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Hannah West makes a spectacular debut.

KOAAB Blog Banner Graphic.jpg

Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West
352 pages
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository 

 

Happy reading,

Britt

 

 

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Review | Wink Poppy Midnight

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one star

Some books you have too much hope for. Wink Poppy Midnight was one of those books. I may fall in the minority when I say, I couldn’t finish this read.

Click here to read the synopsis. 

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Review | When We Collided

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four stars

Whew. When We Collided by Emery Lord is an eye-opener to the world of mental health on so many different levels. I literally just set the book down and wanted to write before I forgot anything, but I’m still processing my thoughts. Needless to say, bear with me.

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Review | Ana of California

23398869four stars

CONFESSION: I’ve never read Anne of Green Gables. *GASP* THE HORROR! I know. It’s been that book that I’ve wanted to read, but I have never had a copy or I forgot to pick one up at the library because I was too busy praying that the newest John Green book was available.(Someone out there is shooting me angry daggers for mentioning John Green and Anne of Green Gables in one sentence.)

I only confess this to you because Ana of California is a modern retelling of Anne of Green Gables, So if you are looking for comparisons, sorry charlie, you’re just not gonna get ’em. But I will share my thoughts on the book with you and hopefully that will suffice.

First, a big thank you to Penguin Group for allowing me to read this wonderful novel in exchange for an honest review. This book comes out on the 30th (Yes, of this month!) and is definitely worth the time.

For a synopsis of Ana of California click here.

The Good.
The characters are wonderful. Ana is a girl after my own heart. You empathize with her and her past and cheer her on throughout the novel. Abbie is a dear. I would want her to be my best friend. She’s loving, ambitious, and her meals make you salivate every time she talks of them.  You have Emmett, who is a grumpus, but you know that there is so much love underneath all of those layers. I have an enormous crush on Will. Then you have Rye and Cole who each add a unique element to the story-line.

I loved the diversity this book held. I especially love when retellings change the background of the character. The pace is perfect. I read this pretty much in a day (minus a few hours of sleep here and there). I was actually surprised when I reached the end…which leads to…

The Not So Good.
The only “not so good” about this novel is that it leaves me hanging like a leaf. I mean, COME ON. There is an epilogue (thank goodness), but I needed just a bit more. You have a glimpse of what happens later down the road, but I personally just wanted the assurance. After everything Ana goes through (I promise, no spoilers!) you just want some satisfaction that everything will be okay from here on out (even if that thinking is completely unrealistic). Also, I would love to know more about Abbie. I know the story’s center points to Ana, but there is so much worth mentioning about the characters that surrounds her. Although we are given glimpses into Abbie’s background story, I would have loved to read more about her time away from the city.

Overall, I loved this book. Ana of California is a wonderful, heart-warming read that will inspire you to open your eyes to the good in your life.

On Sale Date: June 30th from Penguin Group
Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | iBooks

image via Goodreads


All opinions are my own and are not sponsored or endorsed. 

Coffee & Characters | Favorite YA Heroines

Few of you know that most of my days are spent as a barista at a popular coffee joint that you may or may not frequent one…maybe two…alright three times a day. After working at a coffee shop for multiple years I have discovered that there becomes a certain bond that manifests between barista and beverage. You understand the ends and outs of each hand-crafted drink and you know which customer will savor its flavor and which ones will hand their freshly made cup right back to you.

So, what happens when your favorite YA heroine enters your local Starbucks?

I, too, have asked myself this question many a times and thought, “hey, I might actually know the answer!”

Therefore I introduce this post, “Coffee & Characters: Favorite YA Heroines”

1. Katniss Everdeen: Tall Black Coffee

Katniss Everdeen

via zombiesruineverything.com

Katniss grew up poor, so even walking into a Starbucks is probably the most terrifying and guilt-ridden feeling in the world. Coffee is totally a “Capital” drink, especially when it’s priced at $1.75 a cup. However, if ordering coffee won her the hunger games, which would she choose? My guess, is a tall black. I mean come on, 1. It is the cheapest thing on the menu (besides water) and  2. Strong coffee is made for a strong girl (right?!). However, she should probably stick with decaf because I am sure her anxiety is already through the roof.

2. Bella Swan: Grande Vanilla Latte

Bella Swan Twilight

via coolspotters.com

Bella is more of the plain-jane/every-day gal type. So, I’m going to say she would most likely order a grande vanilla latte. Nothing says “simple” quite like vanilla. And since she is cold-blooded, something warm is probably more her fancy. However, come Halloween I could foresee her switching it up and sipping a “Franken Frap” with Edward for kicks and giggles…or excuse me, hisses and bites.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Tris Prior: Double Tall Cappuccino

Tris Prior Divergent and Insurgent

via youtube.com

I would peg Katniss and Tris to have similar tastes since they come from similar back stories. However, Tris has a little more punch to her. She’s brave, fierce, and isn’t afraid of leaping off the edge (literally). So why not pump up her drink with an extra shot of espresso? Plus, I think she needs the energy with all the punching, ducking, running, climbing, jumping, spinning…you get my point.

4. Hermonie Granger: Venti Butterbeer Frappuccino

Hermoine Granger - Harry Potter

via tr.harrypotter.wikia.com

I would be a fool if I said otherwise, right?! Hermonie is super studious and often serious, but she also has a huge fluffy and fun side making a frappuccino her best bet. And what frappuccino you ask? None other than the Butterbeer frappuccino, of course! A little toffee nut, some caramel, all blended and melted together? It’s like magic! YUM!

“It is “butterBEER” not “butterBEAR!”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5. Clary Fray: Tall Mocha

Clary Fray - The Mortal Instruments

via mortalinstruments.org

Clary is a pretty simple girl, okay not really, but you can sort of relate to her on a teenage, love-sick level, right? What Clary definitely has is a warm, protective side. She is super caring and loving and is always looking out for her friends and family, even if it means reaching a bit into the dark side. That’s why a tall mocha would be her beverage of choice. The base of the drink is simple, but the mocha adds a sweet yet strong and dark aspect making it totally Clary.

Did I miss your favorite YA heroine? Let me know in the comments and I will remedy this blunder with their preferred drink choice! 

Review | Geek Girl

Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Geek Girl by Holly Smale Published by HarperCollins

four stars

Who hasn’t wanted to be an international supermodel their entire life? Oh… that would be Harriet Manners. Harriet is all numbers and logical thinking. She gets math but doesn’t understand fashion. She leaves all of the beauty tips and tricks to her best friend, Nat. At least until she gets “spotted” at a local fashion event where her “geek” life gets flipped upside down.

Geek Girl by Holly Smale is laugh-out-loud funny and will leave you with all the warm and fuzzies. It will remind you to celebrate who you are and that we are more than what we label ourselves.

Smale’s characters are golden. Each character holds their own and their are so many dominant and out-there personalities you will constantly be entertained even after the last page.

There are a handful of super duper moral guidances hidden among the pages of this book which unveil a beautiful coming of age story. One of the greatest is rendered in this quote:

“Nobody really metamorphoses. Cinderella is always Cinderella, just in a nicer dress. The Ugly Duckling was always a swan, just a smaller version. And I bet the tadpole and the caterpillar still feel the same, even when they’re jumping and flying, swimming and floating.

Just like I am now.

I didn’t need to transform after all.
My name is Harriet Manners and I am a geek.
And maybe that’s not so bad after all.”

If you are in search for a feel good and light-hearted novel, this one’s for you.

For full synopsis for Geek Girl, click here. 


All opinions are my own and are not affiliated or endorsed by any company or organization. 

Review | Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)

Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)

Image via Goodreads Release Date: April 14th from Poppy

Um, Amy Spalding have we met? Because I am pretty sure you just wrote about me in your newest book, Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys).

Awk-ward. No really, awkward. This book is chock-full of it and it will have you laughing out loud (and yes, mighty loud) til the end.

I love Spalding’s characters, like L-O-V-E. Each of her characters hold their own. You have Riley who runs head first into love, says the first thing that pops in her head, and is (just a little bit) reckless. Reid is her fierce band companion, and I love their platonic friendship. (Who says boys and girls can’t just be friends?!) He is a bubble of insecurities, and I appreciate that Spalding added a male character like his into the mix. Then there is Lucy, she is sensible, nice, and is the definition of what a friend should be. Milo, who is quite possibly the coolest (and smoothest) kid in town.  Oh, and let’s not forget Ted! I may or may not have a crush on Ted. He is a bit of a mystery, plus he is smart, kind, thoughtful, and seems to be the All-American good guy. He may be a bit of a geek, but those are usually the best kind of guys. (I mean have you watched The Big Bang Theory?!)

This book has been compared a lot to Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. It definitely has a similar vibe, meaning Riley is in a band and music is a huge part of this story, but Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) is definitely in a category of its own. Spalding was very smart when she wrote this novel. It is a love story that is so authentically adolescent, you will feel like you are in your teenage shoes again.

Get ready to laugh because this one brings everything to the table.

For full synopsis click here.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Publisher: Poppy / Little, Brown Book for Young Readers 

Special thanks to NetGalley and Little Brown for this ARC. It was a pleasure reading this title!  


All opinions are my own and are not endorsed or affiliated with any company or organization.