Challenges Recap: April

Challenge 1:

The Crown's Fate by Evelyn Skye  (Review to come)
Spectacle by Rachel Vincent (Review to come)
A Grave Calling by Wendy Roberts (Review to come)
Blade Bound by Chloe Neill
Legion by Julie Kagawa
Burning by Danielle Rollins (Review to come)
Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott


Challenge 2:

Blade Bound by Chloe Neill (Chicagoland Vampires)



Challenge 3:




Challenge 4:

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye  (5/16/16)
Burning by Danielle Rollins  (4/5/16)
Public Enemies by Ann Aguirre  (8/4/15)






Stacking the Shelves

This weekly meme is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!



It was another good week! Didn't add too many books to the TBR pile, but still didn't come out empty-handed!

Here's what I bought:


Legion by Julie Kagawa--keeper copy!
Champion: The Graphic Novel by Marie Lu, Adapted by Leigh Dragoon, Ill. by Kaari
The Dead List by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Since Saturday was Independent Bookstore Day I headed out to my favorite one in a torrential downpour! LOL! Nothing stops me from visiting on special days like this!

So I bought Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn, and then was allowed 5 ARCs from the bounty of ARCs the bookstore had! I tamed myself to four!

Now I Rise by Kirsten White (ARC)--yeah...once I saw it I had to grab it! I can binge the first two together at least! LOL!
Roar by Cora Carmack (ARC)--after closer inspection I thought it didn't sound too bad! Plus I am seeing a lot of buzz over it already!
Ringer by Lauren Oliver (ARC)--another happy surprise! Still need to read the first one but happy to binge two in a row!
Dreamfall by Amy Plum (ARC)--which I was super excited to find since her books have been hit or miss for me yet, I really wanted to try this one! So being able to find an ARC was awesome!


Then as I was munching on my delicious gooey butter cookie, I saw some gorgeous bookish necklaces with quotes! I couldn't decide between these two...so naturally I had to buy both!

Then I got some awesome preorder swag from Sarah Ahiers! This was before I learned I won an ARC!

bookmarks
deleted scene from Thief's Cunning
artwork cards
THANK YOU Sarah!!


Then I won a box of ARCs from Mundie Moms in a contest awhile back and they arrived this week!




THANK YOU Mundie Moms!


My other win also came in the mail yesterday...getting soaking wet is so worth it when there's a book waiting for me in the mailbox!

 Thief's Cunning by Sarah Ahiers (ARC)--a contest win I was stoked to have won!! Ironically I also saw it among the ARCs to choose from at my bookstore today! But luckily I knew this one was on its way after I won!! :)

THANK YOU Sarah (again!)!!



 
And that was my haul this week! What did you get?




Follow Friday

This is a weekly blog meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read
 
The Rules:

  • The goal is to increase blog followers, make friends and have something to post.
  • You create your own post using the post prompt.
  • You leave your link and thumbnail in the linky list that links back to your post prompt.
  • Once you have your post up and linked, visit other posts and tell them hi. The point is to FOLLOW them not just comment.
  • If you see a post that just hit it to the moon, or just want to show appreciation to a fellow blogger friend, like their name on the linky list to show some appreciation.
  • The person with the most likes gets chosen as the next Feature (you can be chosen every 90 days unless we are in need of features)
  • It is required that if you participate that you have to follow the FEATURE. It is a big no-no to participate and ignore the feature. They are the special snowflake in this little blizzard.
  • As a participant it is up to your discretion on how you want people to follow. Please post RSS, GFC etc if you have a follow of choice.

Specific RULES:

  • Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  • Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
  • If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn’t have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed FOLLOW as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
  • Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
  • If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers


This week's prompt is: What are Your Favorite Book Accessories or Merchandise You Own or Want?


MY ANSWER: 

 My new luggage tag for my book filled suitcase! Hopefully TSA will realize that yes, this is a suitcase filled with books! Nothing else! No touching of the bookish Tetris display!

BOOKMARKS!!


Bookish jewelry! The vast majority brought to you by Hebel Design!! with the original Morozova Collar *evil eyes Hot Topic*




Review--Public Enemies by Ann Aguirre

Learn the rules of the game…and then play better than anyone else.

Through a Faustian bargain, Edie Kramer has been pulled into the dangerous world of the Immortal Game, where belief makes your nightmares real. Hungry for sport, fears-made-flesh are always raising the stakes. To them, human lives are less than nothing, just pieces on a board.

Because of her boyfriend Kian’s sacrifice, she’s operating under the mysterious Harbinger’s aegis, but his patronage could prove as fatal as the opposition. Raw from deepest loss, she’s terrified over the deal Kian made for her. Though her very public enemies keep sending foot soldiers—mercenary monsters committed to her destruction—she’s not the one playing under a doom clock. Kian has six months…unless Edie can save him. And this is a game she can’t bear to lose.



I really, really, ought to be binging series more often! Once again, I found it a bit of a struggle to dive into a world I haven’t visited in a few years. But at least this time, I’m able to binge the last two books. If only finding recaps for older books was as easy as it is to find recaps on the newer ones. Le sigh. I read my own review of Ann Aguirre’s Mortal Danger and was able to get the quick and dirty version of events, though all the outcomes were a mystery to me. When beginning Public Enemies, I was able to grasp some concepts and characters but not all of them. A lot of Edie’s friends were a mystery to me. I couldn’t remember if they were her friends from before or after her Faustian bargain. But as always, I just try to carry on!

Edie is to be a part of the immortal game, I couldn’t quite remember what this was, only knowing that it’s something dangerous and scary. As we have demons who run it and Edie is “employed” by one. Her boyfriend, Kian, is her predecessor and he now is more human, I guess you could say? He no longer works for Wedderburn or has all the perks. But his lifeline is dwindled down to a few months. He and Edie must make the best of the time that they have. Edie wants to find a way to get him out of the bargain he made that resulted in his time of dying coming much quicker than it should, another thing I couldn’t really remember. But Edie also wants to put an end to the game itself.

I feel like the last part of Mortal Danger was where all these new things and plot points came to life. And typically, I can’t really remember those points! Well, I guess not too oddly. I could recall her wanting to change how she looked in order to get back at her bullies and how they ended up dying by other demonic forces and all. So part of this book was a struggle for me since I couldn’t remember the demonic side of things. Edie is much more immersed with the dark side in this one. Try as she might to get out of it, it has a deep hold on her and Kian.

Edie is a remarkable character though! I love how she’s grown so much in this book (from the little that I can recall previously!). Edie is a force to be reckoned with, and yet she still comes across to you as relatable. I like that! Though she has tough time ahead of her in this one, I love her strength.

The romance between Kian and Edie continues to grow! It’s a sweet kind of romance and it doesn’t take over the entire storyline either. It’s merely there, yet you can still see the bond between these two is strong. I love these two together, in a kooky way of describing it, they complete each other! LOL! Yup, I went there!

The pacing to this one was good. Again, I had quite the bit of struggles trying to reacquaint myself with this world and the not-so-human varieties of it. Remembering Kian and Edie wasn’t a hardship, it was pretty much everyone else who came across as new to me! At times I wasn’t really sure who was friend or foe, but that’s just my burden to bare.

The ending was quite shocking! Sooo many twists and turns! I don’t know if I quite understand all that happened that led to the big finale, but again, rolling with things is what I do! I’m eager to see what will happen next after the cliffhanger that was thrust upon us at the end! This trilogy is definitely a unique one! I don’t think I’ve ever read one that was quite like this, and I must say even with my poor memory involved, I liked it! I just wish I could remember things better! LOL!

 

Overall Rating 3/5 stars 




Random Thursday

Time for more Disney fun with Disney Facts Revealed: Answers to Fans' Curious Questions by Dave Smith!


(image borrowed from Walt Disney Archives Collection)
In the early days, 3D figurines were made from plaster for the animators to get the best idea of how to draw the characters for the animating process. The number of ones made usually depended on how many animators were working on the character. The number usually fell between 6 and 12. Models are still used today but are made of resin.


(image borrowed from Amazon)
Aladdin apparently has two release dates! On November 11, 1992 it was released in select theaters and then released more everywhere on November 25, 1992.


(image borrowed from Pixar Wiki)
It's been speculated that Bruce from Finding Nemo was named after the mechanical shark from Jaws! The mechanical shark got the name from Steven Spielberg's lawyer, Bruce Raiman. But Bruce is also the name for a generic Australian male.

I personally like to think it came from Jaws!!


(image borrowed from Oh My Disney)
Dave says he's unaware of hidden Mickey's deliberately being put into other Disney movies. He knows there's such cameo appearances of other Disney characters in The Little Mermaid though.

I'm guessing Dave just isn't aware of this as much? Because here in The Rescuers we see a Mickey watch! There were bubbles outlining Mickey's head in Snow White, we had a Mickey doll in Frozen...so I guess Dave just doesn't have that list! LOL!




 

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 companion novel to Assassin’s Heart—a riveting fantasy that Printz Award-winning author Laura Ruby said “will keep you turning the pages all night long”—Thief’s Cunning picks up eighteen years later and follows Allegra Saldana as she uncovers the secrets about the line of killers she descends from.

Allegra Saldana has always had to look over her shoulder. As the niece of the infamous assassin Lea Saldana, Allegra is used to hiding from people who want her dead. Once the strongest clipper family in the Kingdom of Lovero, the Saldanas—or what’s left of them—are now the most hunted. Their number one enemy is the Da Vias, whose thirst for retaliation is almost two decades in the making.

At least that’s what Lea has told Allegra her whole life, but lately Allegra’s been feeling like things are being kept from her—including her parents’ identity. So when Allegra finally learns the truth—I’m a Da Via—her world crumbles. Feeling betrayed by the people she trusted the most, Allegra turns to Nev, a Traveler boy whose presence makes her feel alive in ways she’s only dreamed of. But getting caught up in Nev’s world has consequences Allegra never saw coming.

In this dark and enthralling fantasy that fans of Sarah Maas and Leigh Bardugo will devour, one girl must decide whether she’s destined to pay for the wrongs of her family’s past…or if the future is hers for the taking.
 
 
I loved The Assassin's Heart last year! And as I write this post on a Friday night, I learned I won an ARC!! Sooo excited!!!
 
AUTHOR: Sarah Ahiers
PUBLISHER: HarperTeen
GENRE: Fantasy YA
RELEASE DATE: June 13, 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.



"'And I'm with her,' Breakfast added, pointing at Una. 'The scary one.'" p 76















TITLE: Witch's Pyre
AUTHOR: Josephine Angelini
PUBLISHER: Feiwel & Friends
GENRE: Fantasy YA
RELEASE DATE: September 20, 2016 



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's topic is: Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book


*in no particular order
**this is going to be a lot harder...there's not usually much that will deter me from reading a book.


5. WESTERNS--yeah, I think a book I tried could be considered some kind of mesh of paranormal/dystopian with a western twist. I quickly learned westerns weren't for me.
4. ROMANCE--this is usually just for the books that are straight up romances. I don't like stories that just focus on characters falling in love with some minor interference. I like my romance to be a side course, not the main dish! Lol.
3. COMPLEX MAGICAL SYSTEMS--if the magical system confuses me within the description, then it's most likely to confuse me in the book. And those are ones I can't handle reading because I'm suffering migraines trying to understand the world I'm reading about.
2. CHEATING--if a description automatically mentions a character being a cheater, I'm not likely to pick it up at all because I don't condone cheating.
1. CONTEMPORARY--I've said it so many times, but yeah, contemp reads aren't for me. I used to read them as a teen, only because there weren't enough paranormals to read! And now that I have an abundance of them, I've never looked back to contemp books. 


That's all I got! I'm sure I will be agreeing with things you all say and tell myself I should've thought of that! LOL!



 



Review--Witch's Pyre by Josephine Angelini

Lily Proctor has come a long way from the weak, sickly girl she used to be. She has gained power as a witch and a leader, found her way home, chosen to face battle again, and (after losing her first love and being betrayed by her new love) she has learned more about loss and grief than she ever wanted to know.

Thrust once again into a society different from anything they have ever seen, Lily and her coven are determined to find answers―to find a new path to victory, a way to defeat the monstrous Woven without resorting to nuclear weapons or becoming a tyrannical mass murderer like her alternate self, Lillian. But sometimes winning requires sacrifices . . . and when the only clear path to victory lies at Lillian's side, what price will Lily be willing to pay?

Internationally bestselling author Josephine Angelini takes us on another emotionally wrenching thrill ride in the stunning conclusion to her Worldwalker Trilogy.


It’s never a good idea to read a trilogy with two years apart between each book. I think that’s pretty much where my troubles lied with this series. Witch’s Pyre is the final book in Josephine Angelini’s Worldwalker trilogy. It’s a trilogy filled with magic, time travel, love, betrayal...all the good stuff. But yet, sadly I just struggled with it.

Like I said, I really think my reading the books nearly two years apart each didn’t do me any favors. This is a trilogy that picks up right where it left off with little to no recap in between. You’re thrust right into the middle of all the action and you better know what’s going on or else you will find yourself lost like I was.

Here’s what we know, Lily and her friends find themselves in a new place called Bower City. Grace, the one in charge, has brought them there because she thinks it will be for the best. Yet the city is far different than any they’ve been to before. Here witches aren’t allowed to have mechanics and whatnot, because they see it as a form of slavery. Toshi, Grace’s assistant, has been helpful in showing the group around the city, almost too helpful and it’s not long before Lily and her friends start to suspect something fishy is going on.

Rowan makes a surprise appearance shortly after their arrival into the city as well. And if you remember, because I barely did, Lily was betrayed by Rowan in the worst possible way. Yet, he’s still one of her mechanics and despite all that’s happened there’s still a bond that ties them together. And they may eventually need his help in order to leave Bower City, for things aren’t exactly as perfect as they seem.

This series was rather intriguing with the whole alternate worlds and realities. That everyone had a doppelganger as well was interesting. Though I was surprised that Lillian, Lily’s doppelganger, didn’t really have too much of a role in this one. I felt like we didn’t even see her really, the only time she came on the page was when Lily was mindspeaking with her. I was always under the belief that Lillian was a villainous sort as well. But it seemed like by the last book (from my most vaguest of recollections) that she was on a path towards redemption. It soon becomes clear that the real villain of this story is Grace and Lily and her friends are going to need all the help they can get to put a stop to her tyranny.

There wasn’t much for romance in this one since it seems Rowan and Lily were on the outs. That’s the other problem with my poor memory. I can’t really remember if I am supposed to care about these two as a couple! I know I loved Rowan in the first book and his own novella from way back then too. And a part of me was heartsick at seeing these two separated, though I can’t really remember much about Rowan’s betrayal anyway. Only that I was somewhat hesitant to call it a full on betrayal! We do get insight on that though in this one!

It’s really hard to write a review for a book I didn’t fully understand. That’s not to say it was bad, it wasn’t. I just have a really bad memory and I couldn’t really find my groove back with this series. It’s definitely one you would want to binge read in order to full grasp the intricate worldbuilding. It was definitely an interesting read, I just feel like I would’ve done better to have binge read it. If only I could’ve known that ahead of time!

I feel like the ending wasn’t quite complete either. Granted, there’s resolution and what not, but I feel like there should have been more to say about all the characters’ fates and happy endings. We get a little teaser with the epilogue that only leaves me more befuddled than anything. I just wish I knew where more of the characters were at after all was said and done.
 



Overall Rating 2.5/5 stars—and remember for me, this means it was an okay read! None of that “I didn’t like it” nonsense Amazon and Goodreads go with.



 

Discussion Post Challenge: Me & Cartoons

I had a sudden idea for a discussion post as I was typing up a comment and I felt like instead of explaining something in my comment, I cut it short and then decided to turn my spiel into a post! 

Me & Cartoons

So I'm an adult, and I find I watch cartoons a lot! Lol! But at the same time, I'm not really watching them, they're just on when I'm blogging or doing other things on my computer. It's merely background noise. And I'd rather have that one then something I really want to watch. With the shows that I actually watch I like to devote my full attention to them, so I don't normally watch those and blog at the same time.

I think I get my cartoon watching from my late grandfather. I grew up living with my grandparents, mom and sister after my parents divorced when I was really young. And I remember my grandpa always watching cartoons! Now maybe it was partly for my benefit, but I don't think that was always the case! He would watch the classics, Scooby Doo (which is also where my love for that show comes from), Looney Tunes (the original classic ones), Tom & Jerry, The Flintstontes, and the rest of the Hanna-Barbara line-up! I still watched my 90s cartoons as a kid too, because 90s Nicktoons were some of the greatest cartoons ever! Plus a few other non-Nick ones!

But yeah...I find when it's blogging time, I'll throw on some cartoons. I put Boomerang on a lot when I see some of the good ones are on! I'll admit, a lot of the newer Scooby Doo cartoons didn't appeal to me. I guess because, you know, it's not the original cast and all that! Though I think Casey Kasem did do a lot of voicing Shaggy even in the newer shows. Pretty much up until he died as I check out his flimography bio.

Sadly, I don't get to watch too much of my 90s shows as it seems The Splat is only on starting at 9pm, and yeah...I'm not always up then during the week! Lol. Plus it seems they're on a marathon kick now, so there's literally two shows on each night come the weekend! And the DVD editions of some of these are still pretty steep. I wish Netflix would just be able to have them! 

So what about you guys? What are your opinions/thoughts on cartoons? Do you "watch" TV when blogging?





ARC Review--Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott

DOMINO: A runaway with blood on her hands.

CAIN: A silent boy about to explode.

MADAM KARINA: A woman who demands obedience.

WILSON: The one who will destroy them all.

When Madam Karina discovers Domino in an alleyway, she offers her a position inside her home for entertainers in secluded West Texas. Left with few alternatives and an agenda of her own, Domino accepts. It isn’t long before she is fighting her way up the ranks to gain the madam’s approval. But after suffering weeks of bullying and unearthing the madam’s secrets, Domino decides to leave. It’ll be harder than she thinks, though, because the madam doesn’t like to lose inventory. But then, Madam Karina doesn’t know about the person living inside Domino’s mind.

Madam Karina doesn’t know about Wilson.


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’ve been a big fan of Victoria Scott ever since Dante first came onto the page! He was a fun kind of hero, who’s a bit bad and yet still lovable! Violet Grenade almost seems like it wouldn’t be my type of read, because where’s the paranormal? Where’s the fantasy? Where are the chills that thrillers so often pull from me? Well, in a way this book sort of works as a thriller in some sense, but not in the way you would usually think. All I can say is that I loved it!
Violet Grenade is a very dark kind of book, let me warn you, in case that isn’t your thing. It’s dark. Very dark. But it is still YA, so it’s not all slash and guts or anything! Domino is a runaway, she’s been on the streets for a few years now having escaped a life she longs to forget. Its past that’s too dark for her even to try to remember. Even if she wanted to, she couldn’t, because she also has Wilson living in her head. Yup, you heard right! Wilson is Domino’s protector you could say. He shields her from all the bad things that happen so she doesn’t have to remember them all and he was also there when she had to live through them, but that comes about later on.
When Domino’s friend is arrested, she’s determined to pay his bail, but how’s a homeless girl without a high school diploma supposed to get a job. Those required background checks and social security numbers and since Domino ran away, she doesn’t want to be found again. Then in walks Madam Karina. An older woman with flare. She sees potential in Domino and offers her a job at her house, in her establishment. She would be able to make money and help out her friend. Domino is very artistically talented and it’s what drew Madam Karina’s eye to begin with. Seeing no other option, Domino agrees.
Here is where things start to get a little bit darker. Madam Karina runs a particular house. I wouldn’t call it one for prostitutes, though it’s pretty close. Here is a house filled with young women, girls like Domino, who entertain their customers in whatever way possible. With jokes, music, art, you name it. There’s a structure of hierarchy involved and Domino is bottom rung, but she soon will climb to the top. She will make the money she needs to help her friend and to help herself. What she wants most is a home of her own. But she’s soon going to learn that things aren’t always what they appear to be.
This book was dark. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book that had this level of darkness. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing either. I really enjoyed this book! I loved Domino’s character and how she was brave even without Wilson. She knows that her alter ego has a dark side and does terrible things. She tries to fight him on taking control even when she’s suffering at the hands of others who have no care for her being. The things that these girls did to Domino, that they would do to each other, is kind of sick. But I get it, despite all that. I just can’t believe that they would actually have camaraderie with one another when it seems everyone wants to become Top Girl.
I really liked the fact that despite the evil that was nearly all the girls, Domino is able to make friends with one, Poppet. Yeah, there are no ordinary names in this one, and I honestly liked that too! Poppet is sort of the simple girl, yet she’s the only one who shares a lick of kindness to Domino and is very genuine. Then there’s Cain, he works at the house too, but more as a serving boy instead of entertainer. He too has a dark past and it seems only warranted that he and Domino are drawn to one another. The romance was very subtle and hardly there, which I felt like was the right move for this particular story. Besides it makes those few small moments even more powerful.
The ending to this one was absolutely freaking perfect! I loved how explosive it was! And though the very end leaves a few things left unsaid, you can pretty much imagine what might happen next in those areas. While I would’ve loved to know what truly happens, I feel fine with the way things ended here. Violet Grenade is truly one of a kind! It’s one of the most exciting reads I’ve read this year and is sure to end up on my favorites list for the year too! This is one read you won’t want to miss!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

Violet Grenade releases May 2, 2017




 

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.


Last Week I Read:

 Burning by Danielle Rollins (3.5 stars)
Breaking by Danielle Rollins (ARC)--Review to come at a later date


Reviews that Were Posted:

Blade Bound by Chloe Neill (ARC) (5 stars)
Legion by Julie Kagawa (ARC) (5 stars)


Currently Reading:

Witch's Pyre by Josephine Angelini


What I Plan to Read this Week:

Public Enemies by Ann Aguirre


Other Posts of Interest: