Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! The meme is now hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality.


Oddly enough this was a rather quiet week! I wasn't quite able to go without getting any new books though! I technically only bought 1 and then was offered another for review, so yeah. Not a bad week at all!

 Relic by Gretchen McNeil--I didn't realize I didn't have this one already so I decided to buy it so I wouldn't have a completely empty mailbox this week! Lol! But then...


I got this one for review:

Ferocious by Paula Stokes (ARC)--can't wait to finally binge this with Vicarious!


THANK YOU Tor Teen!!


And then I fell victim to the Hot Topic Comic Con Funko Pops! But I actually limited myself to one, even though I was really, really, REALLY tempted to buy Dean and his Impala!

I always loved Luna! I love that she was never afraid to be herself. That it would never occur to her to bow to peer pressure or things like that! 



 So that was my week! What did you all get?

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!

So I saw this awesome tag/survey at We Live Breathe Books that's basically a midyear recap of best books and whatnot! I decided I wanted to give it a go! So why not include this as a post for my discussion challenge too!



The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag


Best Books You've Read So Far


Going to reign it in and limit myself to two books! Really wanting to add like another two at the moment too! LOL!

Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout--my most recent finished read! It was exactly what I love about thrillers and JLA books! A perfect combo!
Torn by Alyssa Rose Ivy--was sooo excited for Hailey's book! Been waiting on hers for awhile now! Really liked how it started, now anxious for the next installment!


Best Sequel You've Read So Far

Oooh, another toughie! Read quite a few sequels this year!

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas--this one did not disappoint! Now I really really need to get myself to read the third book! Possibly soon, because I'm tired of waiting for a "weekend off"! That's never gonna happen! LOL!


New Release You Haven't Read Yet, but Really Want To

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas--as I just said above...soooo want to read this one! Gotta just make it happen!


Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2017

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco--I ADORE Stalking Jack the Ripper last year and the fact that the next adventure involves Dracula just makes me even more eager to read it!
There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins--this one sounds good! A nice creepy read!! Love creepy reads!! Curious to see how Stephanie does thrillers, not being a contemp reader, I never read her first series.


Biggest Disappointment

The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight--this one had a nice premise, except there was just SO much detail to the science part of it all! And I am not a science student! It was my worst subject in all its formats! So yeah, I didn't mesh well with this one!


Biggest Surprise

Roar by Cora Carmack--I had had some hesitancy with this one at first. Not sure why. And I'll admit when I started it, it was a rough start. But then after a few more chapters, it started to pick up and really had me hooked! cannot wait to see where this series goes!


Favorite New Authors (Debut or New to You)

Meagan Spooner--so I haven't read the series she cowrites with Amy Kaufman, so Hunted, was my first time reading one of her books! I must say I quite enjoyed this one! I love a good fairy tale retelling just about any day of the week! Lol. This one was a nice twist and I can't wait to see what other tales Meagan might rewrite!


Newest Fictional Crush

Wyatt from Alyssa Rose Ivy's Torn--love how devoted Wyatt was to Hailey even when Hailey wasn't sure what she wanted just yet. I like his persistence, yet it's not at all like he's being pushy. It was endearing!
Cole from Jennifer L. Armentrout's Till Death--is it any surprise that a JLA guy is a book boyfriend? Cole was also a very patient sort and I adored that! Despite Sasha's fears and troubled past, he still loves her and is willing to play any role in her life.


Newest Favorite Character

Roar by Cora Carmack--going back to Roar for this one! Roar was probably one of my favorite newest characters as most reads were series I was finishing up and whatnot! Roar had a kind of strength to her that I admired! She was determined to do what she must and I admired that too!


Books That Made You Cry

Ally by Anna Banks--though not out yet, there was what you could call a little no-nothing event (plotwise) that happened that had me getting teary-eyed! The end even made it better, so happy tears!


Books That Made You Happy

A Ghoul's Guide to Love and Murder by Victoria Laurie--okay, this is like a bittersweet one too! It was a series finale and I was so happy to see where the characters ended up, but I was still soo sad that it was all over.
Lost Boy by Christina Henry--oddly, I really liked this one! That it gave me happy feels even! Lol! I love a good villain origin story! Especially where you're led to believe that our standard villain isn't quite as villainous as we initially thought!


Favorite Book to Movie Adaptation You Saw This Year

I haven't actually seen too many movies this year...and the only one slightly bookish that I can think of was...
 
The Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve--so even though the movie was more of a remake of the animated movie, the animated movie was a movie adaptation of this one! And I must say, I am sooo glad Disney changed the ending! Never thought I would say that about a movie adaptation of a book ever!


Favorite Reviews You Have Written

Hard to say, I don't really have favorite reviews...but for choosing's sake...

As Old as Time by Liz Braswell--being a big fan of fairy tales and Disney and retellings I was ecstatic when the third and final Twisted Tales novel was more to my liking! I truly enjoyed Liz's Snow that she wrote years ago, so when it came to these Twisted Tales, I guess I sort of had higher expectations since they were Disney related. This one was finally the kind of read I was waiting for from the series. Just wish she could've done more like this one!


Most Beautiful Book You Have Bought or Received This Year

Caraval by Stephanie Garber--The Russian Edition! It took a lot of effort to track this one down and then a lot of patience and worrying for it to arrive! But I truly love this edition! The colors are so pretty! And I really enjoyed the story so I was more than happy to track down a copy of it!


Books You Need to Read by the End of the Year

Oh...I don't know if I have that kind of list to be honest! There are always so many books I want to read asap, I can't honestly say what ones I need to read before the end of the year. Well this one does come to mind:

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas


If you're at all interested in doing this post, consider yourself tagged!






Review--Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout

In New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s gripping new novel, a young woman comes home to reclaim her life—even as a murderer plots to end it. . .

It’s been ten years since Sasha Keaton left her West Virginia hometown . . . since she escaped the twisted serial killer known as the Groom. Returning to help run her family inn means being whole again, except for one missing piece. The piece that falls into place when Sasha’s threatened—and FBI agent Cole Landis vows to protect her the way he couldn’t a decade ago.

First one woman disappears; then another, and all the while, disturbing calling cards are left for the sole survivor of the Groom’s reign of terror. Cole’s never forgiven himself for not being there when Sasha was taken, but he intends to make up for it now . . . because under the quirky sexiness Cole first fell for is a steely strength that only makes him love Sasha more.

But someone is watching. Waiting. And Sasha’s first mistake could be her last.


It never ceases to amaze me what Jennifer L. Armentrout can do when you put her in front of a keyboard! She’s one of my most favorite authors for a reason, she’s a master storyteller and the books only keep getting better! Till Death was her first adult thriller/mystery and it was positively one of the best reads I’ve read this year! It has that right amount of tension and mystery buildup, I couldn’t get enough of it!

Jennifer takes a very serious kind of topic amidst the mystery and handles it so well! Kudos for that too! Sasha was a victim of a serial killer when she was nineteen, but managed to be the only one to ever escape. She since left her home in attempts to start over. Now ten years later, she’s back home to help her mom run the family inn and from the moment she returns, everything turns into chaos.

There are perks to being back though, she gets to be reunited with her best friends, be with her mom, and then of course, there’s Cole Landis, her old college boyfriend. When Cole hears she’s back in town, he comes over to the inn right away. Sasha was dating Cole at the time of her kidnapping and she never really said a proper goodbye to him when she left town. So there’s a lot of things left unsaid between them, plus the decade apart.

I think it’s safe to say that this book is both mystery and romance. And if you’ve read any Jennifer Armentrout book, you know she does romance right! And I gotta admit, rekindled romances are another weakness of mine! I guess because in a way, it’s also rekindled friendships! The romance was pretty spot on! It comes at all the right parts and is perfectly swoony, sweet, and a little bit hot too! Lol!

The mystery itself was pretty chilling too! There are sudden disappearances of young woman, all who resemble Sasha in terms of hair color and whatnot, because that is what the Groom preferred even back then. But the Groom was killed as soon as Sasha was able to get away. Yet all these disappearances and the bodies that eventually follow seem to follow the ritualistic tortures of the Groom. The police are convinced it’s a copycat, but there are really no leads.

What I love about mysteries is playing detective right alongside of the characters! I had about three suspects going while reading this, one I pegged randomly as he was first to appear at a critical point, one I made as a leap, and one who just seemed ultra-suspicious! I was pretty convinced that another wasn’t it, because it’d be too obvious! This is what watching Scooby Doo as a kid will get you! And I thank Scooby for that, because while my final guess was wrong, one of my suspects was it! I like to think that in a way I was sorta right, because it was literally my second guess of whodunit that was right!

There were some pretty creepy times to this one too! Nothing in the terms of paranormal creepy, but just general creepy. I’ve always said that thrillers were a favorite of mine because they were like my paranormal reads in that you still have bad guys doing bad things, it’s just that these bad guys are always human and that’s even scarier in my opinion! There were even sporadic moments where we get the killer’s point of view. It was truly sporadic in a sense and never lasted more than a page, but I found these to be interesting segments! It reminded me of Kimberly Derting’s Body Finder series where she would do this for chapters too! It’s twisted seeing what these bad guys think and what not. It can get pretty dark.

Till Death was an epically creepy thriller! The sweet little romance that was also happening throughout the story helped to make it not as dark. I think I would’ve been fine with it either way, but since this is Jennifer Armentrout we’re talking about, I’m kind of glad for the romance! LOL! This is a read that will likely keep you guessing as to who the killer is and all the shocks and twists that come with it will have you at the edge of your seat reading this one well into the night! It’s a most definitely a great read!

 

Overall Rating 5/5 stars




Random Thursday

Time for more fascinating facts about obscure topics with That's a Fact Jack: A Collection of Utterly Useless Information [Updated] by Harry Bright and Jakob Anser!


(image borrowed from European Summer School)

"The word 'deadline' originated in Civil War prisons, where lines were drawn that prisoners passed only at risk of being shot."

Whoa. Definitely gives new meaning to writers on deadlines!!


(image borrowed from Steam Community)
"The 'D' in D-Day doesn't stand for anything. In military terms, D-Day and H-Hour are sometimes used for the day and hour on which a combat operation is to be initiated."

That's interesting! Always had scarier thoughts about what D-Day meant. Which in essence I supposed could still be true for whoever is using it!


(image borrowed from BBC.com)
"The term 'the whole nine yards' dates from World War II. When fighter pilots armed their planes, the .50 caliber machine-gun ammunition belts loaded into the fuselage measured exactly 27 feet. If a pilot freed all his ammo at one target it got 'the whole nine yards.'"

Never really knew that term had military connotations!



Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog post by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights releases we're eagerly awaiting.
 
 
The fifth book and the exciting conclusion to bestselling author Kelley Armstrong's "impossible-to-put-down" Cainsville series, in which she mixes hard-hitting crime writing with phenomenal world-building to create a brand of fiction all her own.

When Olivia Taylor-Jones found out she was not actually the adopted child of a privileged Chicago family but of a notorious pair of convicted serial killers, her life exploded. Running from the fall-out, she found a refuge in the secluded but oddly welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois, but she couldn't resist trying to dig out the truth about her birth parents' crimes. She began working with Gabriel Walsh, a fiendishly successful criminal lawyer who also had links to the town; their investigation soon revealed Celtic mysteries at work in Cainsville, and also entangled Olivia in a tense love triangle with the calculating Gabriel and her charming biker boyfriend, Ricky. Worse, troubling visions revealed to Olivia that the three of them were reenacting an ancient drama pitting the elders of Cainsville against the mysterious Huntsmen with Olivia as the prize.

In the series' fifth and final novel, not only does Gabriel's drug addict mother, who he thought was dead, make a surprise reappearance, but Kelley Armstrong delivers a final scary and surprising knock-out twist. It turns out a third supernatural force has been at work all along, a dark and malevolent entity that has had its eye on Olivia since she was a baby and wants to win at any cost.
  


This series has been one of my favorites over the last few years! I've been fortunate enough to receive review copies of them too! Hoping to get this last one sometime soon as well! Eager and terrified to see how it ends!


TITLE: Rituals
PUBLISHER: Random House Canada
GENRE: Paranormal Fiction
RELEASE DATE: August 3, 2017




Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker.


Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page
3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.



"I felt the burn of a flush at my cheeks as he moves ever closer. His breath is a delicate breeze on my hair when he says, 'In fact, at this moment, I am not a king at all, but a servant. Your servant, Sepora.'

Saints of Serubel. Now he's as serpentine as Sethos can be. 'My servant? Well then, Tarik My Servants, go throw yourself from the Half Bridge.'" p 37*


*Quote comes from the ARC, therefore it and its page number are not final.







TITLE: Ally
AUTHOR: Anna Banks
PUBLISHER: Feiwel & Friends
GENRE: Fantasy YA

RELEASE DATE: October 3, 2017



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.


This week I borrow a topic idea from my friend Tracy at Cornerfolds, who actually found it on the list TB&TB have posted! :D


 This week's freebie topic is: Top Ten Books I've Loved But Were Never Reviewed

i.e. The Pre-Blogging Years


*in no particular order


10. BITTEN by Kelley Armstrong--I know I have reviews of some of Kelley's Otherworld books, but it looks like the early ones, including Bitten, never made it to the blog!
9. POISON STUDY by Maria V. Snyder--now I know I must have read this one when I created my blog, but as I mentioned in previous posts in the early days I didn't review everything I read. Spy Glass was the first Maria book that I reviewed apparently!
8. DEMON IN MY VIEW by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes--yup never reviewed this one either! I read it wayyyyyy before blogging was even an idea! Yet it still remains one of my favorites. It's possible if I re-read it I would find flaws, but that's because I've read soooo much! And YA was soooo different back then too.


7. OLD MAGIC by Marianne Curley--another beloved favorite from early days! No review for this one either. But I've been contemplating re-reading it and reviewing it for the heck of it! But then I see the 300+ unread new books starting at me and guilt makes me rethink it!
6. FULL MOON RISING by Keri Arthur--never reviewed my first Keri Arthur book either. This one was out way before blogging began as well, but I know I have some of this series up in my archives!
5. DEAD WITCH WALKING by Kim Harrison--another one of those series that I started reading before blogging so this one won't be found with a review either!


4. THE FORBIDDEN GAME TRILOGY by L.J. Smith--I love love love this series! Read it again, a loooong time ago, so no review exists! I always thought L.J. might write another installment, as I heard it somewhere, but as time moves on, I begin to think it may not happen after all! Oh Julian!!
3. BLOOD & CHOCOLATE by Annette Curtis Klause--love this one!! SOOO much better than the movie, aren't they always? But seriously WAY better than the movie for it got nothing right other than the werewolf girl falls in love with a human boy! That's a rant for another time though.
2. THE MEDIATOR: SHADOWLAND by Jenny Carroll--will always refer to these first 4 books as written by Jenny vs. Meg. Old habit! I adored this series! Though again, read it lightyears before the blog, so the only one with a review was the beloved Remembrance!

1. SNOW by Tracy Lynn--another favorite from my youth! It was a most fantastic retelling of Snow White! There are elements to the original fairy tale, yet it stands out on its own as well! Totally amazing! I outta re-read that one too!







ARC Review--First We Were IV by Alexandra Sirowy

It started for pranks, fun, and forever memories.

A secret society – for the four of us. 


The rules: Never lie. Never tell. Love each other.


We made the pledge and danced under the blood moon on the meteorite in the orchard. In the spot we found the dead girl five years earlier. And discovered the ancient drawings way before that. 


Nothing could break the four of us apart – I thought.
But then, others wanted in. Our seaside town had secrets. History.
We wanted revenge.


We broke the rules. We lied. We told. We loved each other too much, not enough, and in ways we weren’t supposed to.
Our invention ratcheted out of control.


What started as a secret society, ended as justice. Revenge. Death. Rebellion.


I received this ARC from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for a voluntary and honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


I remember being intrigued with Alexandra Sirowy's debut The Creeping! I still need to read release from last year, but when I saw First We Were IV up on Netgalley I decided to throw my name in for a review copy! It was definitely an interesting kind of read and had me intrigued for a time, but I also couldn't help but feel like it started to move at a terribly slower pace than I expected. And then the ending just left me feeling a lost. It just wasn't the feel good ending you would hope for a standalone. It ends with resolution, one that is filled with shock and surprise, but still, there's a kind of loneliness to it as well.

Izzie, Graham, Viv, and Harry have all been best friends ever since Harry moved to their little town when they were twelve. Izzie is feeling a sense of dread as their senior year comes upon them. She knows that soon they will all drift apart as they go to college and she wants there to be something that binds them together. Bring them closer together. She starts their secret society group and they decide that they would right the wrongs they feel need written.

It starts off as harmless pranks, but then they decide to take things up a notch. They remember the time when they were twelve and they found the body of a dead girl in their secret spot. The police never really investigated the death to the full matter of the law and suddenly, Izzie decides she wants there to be justice for the lost girl she dubbed Goldilocks because of her blond, golden hair. Their pranks take a darker turn as they try to go at the people they feel are responsible for the lack of justice.

The beginning of this one was a bit hard to get into, for we start in the past and deal with a few chapters of these flashbacks that helped to shape the circle of friends we are about to meet and also to show us the tragic event that in a sense brought their circle of friends together. Really it was the added addition of Harry who was the newest kid in town at the time.

I think what also started to set things off for me was the involvement of animal abuse. I don't like when that happens in books and in this one, we had three instances, at least that I can remember off the top of my head. There may have been mentioning of one more instant but I can't say for sure. I mean, only one kind of went into detail but the rest were kind of glossed over but we still witness the aftermath. It's nothing against the author really, I just wished she could've left it out, but I can see how it fit into the story.

There's also a bit of a complicated love situation going on. Four friends; two girls, two boys. It's not as twisted as you might think, but it does get a little love triangle-y. But the romance was more just a side occurrence. It didn't overtake the story which was kinda nice, but it also wasn't all that swoony. I didn't really feel like I was meant to care about the romance. The friendships were a far grater bond and I liked that, but then obviously things evolve into chaos.

This was a sort of intense read but at times I couldn't help but want it to be over. I felt like the group's true mission was starting to be lost and just wanting to cause chaos and shock. Their group becomes a phenomenon of sorts and some copycats come out of the woodwork and that brings about a new set of chaos.

At it's heart, this is a book about friendship, for all Izzie wants is to be able to be closer to her friends in their last year of high school. But naturally, things get taken a little too far. While First We Were IV isn't one to make my favorites list I will still eagerly look for new books from Alexandra because her books still have that sense of creepiness to them that I always find entertaining!


Overall Rating 3/5 stars


First We Were IV releases July 25, 2017