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.

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

 

Happy reading,

Britt

 

 

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Balthazar Fabuloso in the Lair of the Humbugs | Blog Tour

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five stars

Guys, this is my first ever blog tour and I am uber pumped about it. Why? Not only are blog tours super fun, but this is also for a middle-grade novel and WHO DOESN’T LOVE MIDDLE GRADE? (Seriously, middle-grade is the best.)

Let’s dive a little deeper shall we . . .

Continue reading

Review | Six of Crows

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

five stars

Friends, say hello to the the best fantasy novel I’ve read all year. Yes, I loved Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows even more than I loved Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes. . . and If you’ve been keeping up, I LOVED An Ember in the Ashes. This novel has been floating around the intersphere all week (and longer), but there is certainly a reason it has received so much hype. Not only is it gripping, but it is diverse and the narrative is GAH, freaking fantastic. Let’s do a rewind shall we?

 

Synopsis. 

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first

The Good. 

The characters. Bardugo and her editor deserve a bonus check for balancing six characters and leaving none to be claimed as my “least favorite”. Honestly, I don’t even have a favorite because they are all equally amusing in their own right. You have Kaz the leader of the Dregs, who is someone I would never want to meet. Honestly, I’m shocked the kid hasn’t gone completely mad given his history. You have Inej, the stealthiest woman of all the land. Her regard for her religion in the midst of her situation makes her all the more likeable. Nina and Matthias are like a romantic comedy ready to explode in your face. Even Wylan and Jesper have a comical romanticism that leaves you wanting more. (Seriously Bardugo . . . I. Need. More.)

This book is HUGE. Not Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix huge, but pretty close. However, you still. want. more. (Fall 2016 can not come soon enough.)

The Not-So-Good. 

That it ended. (I’m serious.)

Overall.

Can I make it any clearer? If you like An Ember in the Ashes or like fantasy/sci-fi in general. . . start heading to your local Bookstore or grab your tablet and start reading Six of Crows.

 

Purchase: Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Henry Holt and Co.
480 pages
$18.99

 

 


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

 

December New Book Releases

Happy December!

How did we get here? We are officially in the final month of 2014. Crazy, right?! As we dress the house with lights and trim our evergreen trees let us not forget that we have some super-radtastic books releasing this month! Get ready to add these on to your Christmas list… (I know they are already on mine.)

1. No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown
Release Date: December 9th by Harper Teen

16144570Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.

When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hyper competitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.

Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities.

2. Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas
Release Date: December 9th by Harper Teen

20646933Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day

5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market

4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi

3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm

2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)

1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees—of stealing upwards of $10,000

Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers . . . even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe’s list of Top Ten Best Moments.

3. Now That You’re Here by Amy K. Nichols
Release Date: December 9th by Knopf Books for Young Readers

18309634In a parallel universe, the classic bad boy falls for the class science geek.

One minute Danny was running from the cops, and the next, he jolted awake in an unfamiliar body–his own, but different. Somehow, he’s crossed into a parallel universe. Now his friends are his enemies, his parents are long dead, and studious Eevee is not the mysterious femme fatale he once kissed back home. Then again, this Eevee–a girl who’d rather land an internship at NASA than a date to the prom–may be his only hope of getting home.

Eevee tells herself she’s only helping him in the name of quantum physics, but there’s something undeniably fascinating about this boy from another dimension . . . a boy who makes her question who she is, and who she might be in another place and time.

And, coming soon, Duplexity, Part II: While You Were Gone flips this story on its head and tells the tale of the alternate Danny and the alternate Eevee, living in Danny’s parallel world.

4. Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
Release Date: December 9th by Delecorte Press

18782855Game of Thrones meets the Grimm’s fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty’s daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora’s throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it’s too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

5. Love and Other Theories by Alexis Bass
Release Date: December 31st by Harper Teen

18480081If you want more, you have to give less.

That’s the secret to dating in high school. By giving as little as they expect to get in return, seventeen-year-old Aubrey Housing and her three best friends have made it to the second semester of their senior year heartbreak-free. And it’s all thanks to a few simple rules: don’t commit, don’t be needy, and don’t give away your heart.

So when smoking-hot Nathan Diggs transfers to Lincoln High, it shouldn’t be a big deal. At least that’s what Aubrey tells herself. But Nathan’s new-boy charm, his kindness, and his disarming honesty throw Aubrey off her game and put her in danger of breaking the most important rule of all: Don’t fall in love

What are you reading this month?!

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

October New Book Releases

Happy October!

New month = new releases

There are so many awesome-possum releases coming your way in these next 31 days it is hard to keep track. For all of you GOT fans, George R. R. Martin’s, The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thronesreleases late this month, Amy Poeler’s comical autobiography, Yes Please, is set to launch the same day, October 28th, and Garth Nix’s fourth installment of the Abhorsen series, Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen, will be brought your way on the 14th. (Have I got you excited yet?!)

Below are a few of MY most anticipated releases:

1. The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Release Date: October 7th

The Young Elites

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.
 
It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

2. The Calling (Endgame Series #1) by James Frey & Nils Johnson-Shelton
Release Date: October 7th

Endgame The Calling

Twelve thousand years ago, they came. They descended from the sky amid smoke and fire, and created humanity and gave us rules to live by. They needed gold and they built our earliest civilizations to mine it for them. When they had what they needed, they left. But before they left, they told us someday they would come back, and when they did, a game would be played. A game that would determine our future.

This is Endgame.

For ten thousand years the lines have existed in secret. The 12 original lines of humanity. Each had to have a Player prepared at all times. They have trained generation after generation after generation. In weapons, languages, history, tactics, disguise, assassination. Together the Players are everything: strong, kind, ruthless, loyal, smart, stupid, ugly, lustful, mean, fickle, beautiful, calculating, lazy, exuberant, weak. They are good and evil. Like you. Like all.

This is Endgame.

When the game starts, the Players will have to find three keys. The keys are somewhere on Earth. The only rule of their Endgame is that there are no rules. Whoever finds the keys first wins the game. Endgame: The Calling is about the hunt for the first key. And just as it tells the story of the hunt for a hidden key, written into the book is a puzzle. It invites readers to play their own Endgame and to try to solve the puzzle. Whoever does will open a case filled with gold. Alongside the puzzle will be a revolutionary mobile game built by Google’s Niantic Labs that will allow you to play a real-world version of Endgame where you can join one of the lines and do battle with people around you.

Will exuberance beat strength? Stupidity top kindness? Laziness thwart beauty? Will the winner be good or evil? There is only one way to find out.

Play.
Survive.
Solve.
People of Earth.
Endgame has begun.

3. Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot
Release Date: October 14th

Even in Paradise

When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do… or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden … until now.

4. Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer
Release Date: October 14th

Trust Me I'm Lying

Fans of Ally Carter, especially her Heist Society readers, will love this teen mystery/thriller with sarcastic wit, a hint of romance, and Ocean’s Eleven–inspired action.

Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.

But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.

5. Atlantia by Ally Condie
Release Date: October 28th

Atlantia

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamed of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all Rio’s hopes for the future are shattered when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected choice, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long silenced—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the corrupted system constructed to govern the Divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

What releases are you looking forward to this month?! 

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