Monday, February 24, 2020

BLOG TOUR: "The Shadows Between Us" by Tricia Levenseller + GIVEAWAY


Guys I am so excited to be welcoming you to The Shadows Between Us blog tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club! I about died from excitement when I got on this tour and, after having finished this book, I am so excited to talk about it with all of you. I will get the chance to gush about this book later in this post in my review, but there's a bunch of other amazing things in this post as well! We obviously have information about the book and author, but we also have a specially curated playlist from me, a preorder campaign, a book tour, a specially curated Pinterest board from the author, and a book trailer! There's so much to get through so let's dive straight in...



SYNOPSIS

Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

by Tricia Levenseller
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: February 25th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy



MY REVIEW

4.5 // 5 stars

To start off my review, I would like to say a big thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club and the publisher for letting me participate in this tour. The Shadows Between Us was a title that I was really looking forward to this year and I am so grateful for the chance to review it early!

Let me then say that I loved this book. It was so dark and cunning and yet so much fun. This is a standalone so the entire story arc of these characters needed to be wrapped up with as few threads left hanging as possible. I honestly think that Tricia did a great job with that. I'm left entirely content with the ending, which isn't something that always happens when I read standalones. I think there's plenty more that could be explored with this world, but the main story of these two characters together came to a wonderful ending.

I think that the plot itself was interesting. We've got a few high-action scenes and a few romantic scenes, but a lot of the plot was spent on the strategies, whether it be war, betrayal, and whatnot. I really liked how we had a few different side journeys going on as well as the overall storyline between  our two main characters.

I absolutely adored the main character. At first, I was a little unsure if I would like her for an entire book but I'll say that she really grew on me (I also asked myself if it were a male character would I be having the same uncertainties and the answer was no). I liked the whole image of Alessandra---she's a badass who has this very strategic mind when it comes to politics, war, and the court. On the other hand, she can be vulnerable and she is stubborn and makes mistakes. I also liked how she was very into sewing and designing dresses--I think that in a lot of YA books lately if a main female character is badass then she typically doesn't embrace traditional feminine things and, while it's totally okay not to like those things, I do think it does the characters a bit of a disservice. I think that's part of the reason why I liked our main character so much.

The other characters, such as the king and other members of court, were enjoyable to read about as well. We saw them through Alessandra's view so a lot of my thoughts on other characters were based on her reactions to them, and I do have to say that I really enjoyed getting to read about a few of the side characters and their own little plot lines. 

I will say that some of the book was rather predictable. There were a few instances where I just knew that it was going to turn out that way or that someone was going to react a certain way. On the other hand, there were a few things that I absolutely did not see coming but that still make absolute sense within the parameters of the story.

Overall, I read this book in one sitting and absolutely adored it. It was fast paced and the writing was easy to fall into. Pair that with well-written characters and an intense plot and you have a winner in my eyes. I cannot wait to get my hands on a physical copy and reread this in the future! 



PLAYLIST

Apple Music
YouTube

1. you should see me in a crown - Billie Eilish
2. The Arena - Lindsey Stirling
3. Bad Together - Dua Lipa
4. Bed of Roses - Bon Jovi
5. The Antidote - St. Vincent
6. Better Love - Hozier
7. Castle - Halsey
8. I Found - Amber Run
9. Legendary - Welshly Arms



MEET TRICIA LEVENSELLER

Tricia Levenseller is the author of the Daughter of the Pirate King duology, Warrior of the Wild, and forthcoming The Shadows Between Us. She likes to describe her books as young adult alternate–world historical fantasies with heavy romantic subplots.

Initially from a small town in Oregon, Tricia now lives next to the Rocky Mountains with her bossy dog, Rosy. She received her degree in English Language and editing, and she is thrilled that she never has to read a textbook again. When she’s not writing or reading, Tricia enjoys putting together jigsaw puzzles, playing volleyball, playing Overwatch with her siblings, and watching shows while eating extra-buttered popcorn.


Website     |     Goodreads     |     Twitter     |     Facebook
Tumblr     |     Instagram     |     Pinterest



BONUS MATERIALS


~

Specially-curated Pinterest Board from Tricia herself!

~


Preorder The Shadows Between Us and submit your receipt here in order to get some awesome book swag and goodies! (Valid until Release Day)

~


Tricia is going on tour! You can find more information about how to attend any of these awesome events at her website here



PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon     |     Barnes & Noble     |     iTunes     |     Book Depository
Kobo     |     Google Books



GIVEAWAY

If the widget doesn't work, enter to win a finished copy here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow along with the rest of the tour here!





Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



You can follow my bookstagram here for more bookish content!

To get more awesome posts like this post, click the follow button to the right!

I am a "BookishTextDesign" Influencer! Use my code LAUREN10 for a discount off your bookmark purchases! Check out the shop here

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link



Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Book Review: "When the Dead Come Home" by B.L. Brunnemer

When the Dead Come Home (The Veil Diaries Book 8)
Title: When the Dead Come Home
Author: B.L. Brunnemer
Series: "The Veil Diaries" #8
Genre: RH Supernatural Romance
Page Length: 326 pages
Publication Date: February 14, 2020
Date Started: February 17, 2020
Date Finished: February 17, 2020
Rating: 5 // 5 stars
Goodreads

*This review will be spoiler-free for book 8, but I cannot promise that there won't be spoilers for previous books in the series*

This book. THIS BOOK. This book is what I love about this series. The last couple of books in the series, while great and developmental in their own ways, just felt different to me. They didn't give me the same feeling as the others in this series. This book, though, made me feel like I was right back at home with this series. 

A lot happens in this book. I will admit, I did fly through reading it because I was so excited to finally have this installment. There's a lot in terms of character, relationship, and world development and it was great. I felt like this book had a good balance between all three, whereas the last two books, while great, each focused heavily on ONE of these things and not blending all of them together.

I don't want to spoil anything, so I'm trying to keep this brief and a tad vague. After the events of book 7, I was really excited to see how things would progress between characters in this novel. I was not disappointed in the slightest. The character dynamics have shifted in interesting ways and I quite liked getting to see the different sides of certain characters. It was fascinating to watch how they dealt with different things under the various pressures throughout the book.

There were also plenty of high-action scenes, which I really enjoyed after the more slow previous book. I quite liked how some things were finally being revealed after a few years of speculating and how others were being hinted at but not confirmed.

Overall, I really enjoyed this installment and I'm just very excited for the final book to come out later this year and then the sequel series after that. I think this one set up the finale quite well and, while it wasn't ended with a cliffhanger, there are still a lot of open questions and plot points that could go very different ways. I loved it. 

Book Reviews
Veil Diaries:
Book 1: Trying to Live With the Dead
Book 2: When the Dead Come A Knockin'
Book 3: When to Fear the Living
Book 4: Whispers from the Dead
Book 5: When Evil Comes to Play
Book 6: Secrets From the Grave
Book 7: When the Dead Have it Easy

Books of Stone:
Book 1: Found



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



You can follow my bookstagram here for more bookish content!

To get more awesome posts like this post, click the follow button to the right!

I am a "BookishTextDesign" Influencer! Use my code LAUREN10 for a discount off your bookmark purchases! Check out the shop here

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link



Friday, February 14, 2020

Valentine's Day Book Tag


Hello all and Happy Valentine's Day! I hope your day has been enjoyable thus far and that you're staying warm wherever you are (it currently feels like a bitter tundra where I am). I figured what better way to incorporate Valentine's Day on my blog than with a book tag! There are ten book-ish questions here and I'm so excited to chat with you about all of them! 



1) Stand Alone Book You Love

I actually don't read a lot of standalones. I typically reach for series or companions because I've found the characters I get the most attached to are ones that I can go on numerous adventures with. That being said, Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston is a standalone romance that I absolutely adore! Since I finished it I've been so excited to reread it and I can't wait to revisit these characters.

Red, White & Royal Blue



2) Dystopian Book You Love

I'm going to have to go with The Host by Stephenie Meyer for this one. I absolutely adore this book. Some people consider it to be just sci-fi, I think it falls under dystopian because it's set in a future Earth overrun by aliens. I cannot tell you just how much I love this book--it's so unique and gripping and just amazing. 

The Host (The Host, #1)



3) A Book That You Love But No One Else Talks About

This one is a more recent find but it is A Fallen Hero by Sara A. Noë. I got the chance to read this back in August and fell in love. It's such an interesting world with a found family on the run that absolutely make you fall in love with them. However, it's a self-published book with no publisher backing so I haven't seen many people discussing it. I'm trying to change that, though, and I'm actively trying to promote it to all of my fellow book-nerds. 

A Fallen Hero (Chronicles of Avilésor: War of the Realms #1)



4) Favorite Book Couple

I'm going to have to go with Feyre & Rhysand for this one. I have loved them since ACOMAF and I cannot wait to reread about all their adventures together. Seeing the unconditional love they have for each other and reading all their cute scenes just makes me adore them. (Image: Charlie Bowater)

Image result for feyre and rhysand



5) Book That Other People Love But You Haven’t Read Yet

There are so many that I could put for this question but I'm going with Renegades by Marissa Meyer. I don't know why I haven't read that yet, seeing as I've liked every other thing I've read by Marissa, but I just haven't. I do own the first two as ebooks, though and am hopefully going to get a chance to read them this year!

Renegades (Renegades, #1)



6) A Book With Red on the Cover

I decided to go with Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout (the third book in the Dark Elements trilogy) for this one. The new covers after they went through a change are absolutely stunning and this one is no exception. I love it and the main color scheme is definitely red.

Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements, #3)



7) A Book With Pink on the Cover

I struggled a bit with this one because I wanted to find a book I hadn't talked about yet that I absolutely loved and had a prominent romance, because Valentine's Day. In the end, I realized that Long Way Home by Katie McGarry fit perfectly! I have read four of Katie's books now and have all the rest on my TBR because I've never read a book from her that I don't like. What's even more amazing is that these books are contemporaries or romances but they also have other aspects to them and the characters aren't solely focused on just the romance.

Long Way Home (Thunder Road, #3)



8) You were given a box of chocolate what fictional boyfriend/ or girlfriend would given them to you.

I was trying to think of who this would be and I'd have to say Thomas Cresswell from the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. He just seems like the kind of character who would go super romantic for Valentine's Day.

Image result for thomas cresswell



9) You are Single on Valentines Day. What Book would you read? What TV show would you watch? What Movie would you watch?

I'm not single on Valentine's Day, but if I was my lineup would be the following: Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin for something to read; Bones or Teen Wolf for something to binge; and To All the Boys I've Loved Before if I wanted a romcom.

Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)



10) You are in the Book Store. All of a Sudden you get shot with an arrow by Cupid. What New Release will you love?

This one isn't out yet but will be in just a few weeks so I decided to go ahead and include it: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas. I know that I'm going to love this one, the only thing I'm unsure of is if I'll love it more than ACOTAR or Throne of Glass...

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1)



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



You can follow my bookstagram here for more bookish content!

To get more awesome posts like this post, click the follow button to the right!

I am a "BookishTextDesign" Influencer! Use my code LAUREN10 for a discount off your bookmark purchases! Check out the shop here

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link



Tuesday, February 11, 2020

BLOG TOUR: All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace + GIVEAWAY


Hello everyone! Today I am so excited to be bringing another exciting blog tour to you guys! All the Stars and Teeth was one of my most anticipated releases of 2020 and I am so grateful for not only the opportunity to review it but also to bring it to all of you!

This blog tour post is jam-packed with amazingness. There's information about the book and author, links to purchase it, a specially curated playlist, an exclusive excerpt, the book trailer, my review, and a giveaway! Not only that, but I also have an exciting post going up on Instagram that you can find here



SYNOPSIS

Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice, Adalyn Grace’s All the Stars and Teeth is a thrilling fantasy for fans of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.

She will reign.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.

Written by Adalyn Grace
Publisher: Imprint
Release Date: February 4th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Pirates
Goodreads



MY REVIEW

4 // 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. I think it might be one of my favs of the year. It was a wild ride from start to finish and by the time I got sucked into the book, there was no chance that I was putting it down until I finished.

This book follows our main character, Amora. She's someone who's headstrong, makes mistakes, and genuinely cares about the people around her and tries to do the right thing. While this book was very much a literal journey from one place to another, the personal journey that Amora went on was also so wonderful to read. Her character development was just...*chef's kiss*

The side characters were also amazing. Even though our only perspective is through Amora, I also felt a very strong connection to the side characters. We get to see into their struggles and pasts through their interactions with our main character. Additionally, their personalities were all very clear and I enjoyed their additions to the story.

This book seemed very much like an epic journey to me. We visit so many different places and there's always something going on to move the plot and character development forward. Even if there wasn't high action in a scene, there was still plenty of tension and plot movement. 

The author's writing is also very vivid and easy to fall into. When she would describe different places or scenes, I saw them much more vividly than I do in some books. Additionally, there weren't really any info-dumps, which is always good! Instead of just telling us information, the author found a way to incorporate it into something different or exciting or within the plot. Because of this, when I finally got fully into the book, I couldn't put it down and ended up reading the final 300+ pages in one sitting!

I will say, there were two things that lowered the star rating for me. The first is that it took me nearly 50 or 60 pages to get fully invested in the story. With how fast the rest of the book moves and looking back at these first few chapters, I'm wondering how necessary it was for us to get that much detail. Additionally, the big climactic ending felt a bit easy to me, though I'm excited to see how the consequences of how things ended lead into the next book!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It's one of my favorites of the year so far and I can't wait to see what the author does next in the sequel! A big thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club and the publisher for the chance to be a part of this blog and Instagram tour! 



PLAYLIST
1. Control - Halsey
2. Run Boy Run - Woodkid
3. you should see me in a crown - Billie Eilish
4. Waves - Dean Lewis
5. Way Down We Go - KALEO
6. Deep Water - American Authors
7. Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes
8. Across the Sea - The Wailin’ Jennys
9. Castle of Glass - Linkin Park



MEET THE AUTHOR

Adalyn Grace graduated Summa Cum Laude when she was 19-years-old. She spent four years working in live theater, and acted as the managing editor of a nonprofit newspaper. During and after college, she studied storytelling as an intern on Nickelodeon Animation’s popular animated show, The Legend of Korra (sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender). She was a participant in Pitch Wars 2016, and is a former literary agent intern for an established agency.

Adalyn splits time between San Diego and Arizona with her bossy cat and two dorky dogs, and spends her days writing full time while trying to find the city’s best burrito.

She has several projects in the works, and hopes to continually push the boundaries and explore the limits of upper young adult fiction.

You can follow her on Twitter, at @AdalynGrace_

Goodreads     |     Website     |     Instagram     |     Twitter



PURCHASE LINKS


Amazon     |     Barnes & Noble     |     iTunes     |     Book Depository
Kobo     |     Google Books



BONUS FUN





GIVEAWAY

Prize: a finished copy of All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace (US/CAN only)

Starts February 4, 2020
Ends February 18, 2020

a Rafflecopter giveaway
If the widget doesn't work, enter here!



Follow along with the rest of the blog tour here!

The Fantastic Flying Book Club



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



You can follow my bookstagram here for more bookish content!

To get more awesome posts like this post, click the follow button to the right!

I am a "BookishTextDesign" Influencer! Use my code LAUREN10 for a discount off your bookmark purchases! Check out the shop here

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link



Sunday, February 2, 2020

January 2020 Wrap-Up!


Well, my January TBR was an ambitious one and I do have to say that I absolutely failed miserably. I thought I was going to smash out of a bunch of books over winter break but that didn't happen, and now it's already February and I read all of two books in January. One was a bit disappointing and the other was a slave narrative for class that hit me really hard in the feels. Hopefully February will be a better month reading wise, but let's just dive into my wrap-up.



BOOKS READ
1. 
Title: Scavenge the Stars
Author: Tara Sim
Rating: 3 // 5 stars
Blog Tour
Scavenge the Stars (Scavenge the Stars, #1)

2.
Title: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave
Author: Frederick Douglass
Rating: n/a -- read for class
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass
My professor said one day in class that Frederick Douglass was one of the best writers in American history and that his narrative is one of the best novels out there. I'd have to agree. I'm not going to say much on it since I had to read it for class, but it was a very heartbreaking, eye-opening, and inspiring story.



BOOKS HAULED

Because my wrap-up was so short this month and I didn't get that many books, I thought I'd just briefly list the four books I did get here!
  • Windwitch by Susan Dennard
    • The hardcovers recently underwent a cover change and I wanted to get the original covers before they got too rare and when I saw this at my local used store I couldn't resist
  • Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway
    • I had to get this for my Fiction Writing class this semester 
  • Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry
    • I adore all of Katie's books that I've read so far and this is one of the ones that I need to get reading soon so when I saw a signed copy for cheap I decided to snag it
  • Our Nig by Harriet E. Wilson
    • This is one that I had to get for my African American Literature class this semester
I didn't get that many, and I don't anticipate getting very many in February either. I've been super busy and haven't had the time to read, and if I'm not reading voraciously I also don't have as big of an urge to buy books. 



BLOG POSTS

December 2019 Wrap-Up!
Bookish Resolutions for 2020
Book Series I Finished in 2019
Blog Tour: "Scavenge the Stars" by Tara Sim
Favorite Books of 2019
Blog Tour: "Tweet Cute" by Emma Lord



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



You can follow my bookstagram here for more bookish content!

To get more awesome posts like this post, click the follow button to the right!

I am a "BookishTextDesign" Influencer! Use my code LAUREN10 for a discount off your bookmark purchases! Check out the shop here

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link



Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Blog Tour: "Tweet Cute" by Emma Lord


Hello all! Today I am very excited to bring another blog tour to you guys! Today I'm discussing Tweet Cute by Emma Lord, a new contemporary that's coming out in just a week! In today's post, you'll find information about the book and author, links to preorder, and an exclusive excerpt. Let's go ahead and dive right in! 



SYNOPSIS

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming — mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account. 

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time. 

All’s fair in love and cheese — that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life — on an anonymous chat app Jack built. 

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate — people on the internet are shipping them?? — their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.



MEET EMMA LORD

Emma Lord is a digital media editor and writer living in New York City, where she spends whatever time she isn’t writing either running or belting show tunes in community theater. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a major in psychology and a minor in how to tilt your computer screen so nobody will notice you updating your fan fiction from the back row. She was raised on glitter, grilled cheese, and a whole lot of love. Her sun sign is Hufflepuff, but she is a Gryffindor rising. TWEET CUTE is her debut novel. You can find her geeking out online at @dilemmalord on Twitter.


Twitter     |     Instagram



PURCHASE TWEET CUTE




EXCERPT

JACK

“Look.” I glance into the classroom, where Ethan is thoroughly distracted by Stephen and no longer keeping an eye on us. “I may have . . . overreacted.”

Pepper shakes her head. “I told you. I get it. It’s your family.”

“Yeah. But it’s also—well, to be honest, this has been kind of good for business.”

Pepper’s brow furrows, that one little crease returning. “What, the tweets?”

“Yeah.” I scratch the back of my neck, sheepish. “Actually, we had a line out the door yesterday. It was kind of intense.”

“That’s . . . that’s good, right?”

The tone of my voice is clearly not matching up with the words I’m saying, but if I’m being honest, I’m still wary of this whole overnight business boom. And if I’m being honest, I’m even more wary of Pepper. If this really is as much of a family business as she claims it is—to the point where she’s helping run the Twitter handle, when even I know enough about corporate Twitter accounts to know entire teams of experienced people get paid to do that—then she might have had more of a hand in this whole recipe theft thing than she’s letting on.

The fact of the matter is, I can’t trust her. To the point of not knowing whether I can even trust her knowing how our business is doing, or just how badly we need it.

“Yeah, um, I guess.” I try to make it sound noncommittal. My acting skills, much like my breakfast-packing skills, leave much to be desired.

“So . . .”

“So.”

Pepper presses her lips into a thin line, a question in her eyes.

“So, I guess—if your mom really wants you to keep tweeting . . .”

“Wait. Yesterday you were pissed. Two minutes ago you were pissed.”

“I am pissed. You stole from us,” I reiterate. “You stole from an eighty-five-year-old woman.”

“I didn’t—”

“Yeah, yeah, but still. You’re them, and I’m . . . her. It’s like a choose your fighter situation, and we just happen to be the ones up to bat.”

“So you’re saying—you don’t not want me to keep this up?”

“The way I see it, you don’t have to make your mom mad, and we get a few more customers in the door too.”

Pepper takes a breath like she’s going to say something, like she’s going to correct me, but after a moment, she lets it go. Her face can’t quite settle on an expression, toeing the line between dread and relief.

“You’re sure?”

I answer by opening the container she handed me. The smell that immediately wafts out of it should honestly be illegal; it stops kids I’ve never even spoken to in their tracks.

“Are you a witch?” I ask, reaching in and taking a bite of one. It’s like Monster Cake, the Sequel—freaking Christmas in my mouth. I already want more before I’ve even managed to chew. My eyes close as if I’m experiencing an actual drug high—and maybe I am, because I forget myself entirely and say, “This might even be better than our Kitchen Sink Macaroons.”

“Kitchen Sink Macaroons?”

Eyes open again. Yikes. Note to self: dessert is the greatest weapon in Pepper’s arsenal. I swallow my bite so I can answer her.

“It’s kind of well-known, at least in the East Village. It even got in some Hub Seed roundup once. I’d tell you to try some, but you might steal the recipe, so.”

Pepper smiles, then—actually smiles, instead of the little smirk she usually does. It’s not startling, but what it does to me in that moment kind of is.

Before I can examine the unfamiliar lurch in my stomach, the bell rings and knocks the smile right off her face. I follow just behind her, wondering why it suddenly seems too hot in here, like they cranked the air up for December instead of October. I dismiss it by the time I get to my desk—probably just all the Twitter drama and the glory of So Sorry Blondies getting to my head.

“One rule,” she says, as we sit in the last two desks in the back of the room.

I raise my eyebrows at her.

“We don’t take any of it personally.” She leans forward on her desk, leveling with me, her bangs falling into her face. “No more getting mad at each other. Cheese and state.”

“What happens on Twitter stays on Twitter,” I say with a nod of agreement. “Okay, then, second rule: no kid gloves.”

Mrs. Fairchild is giving that stern look over the room that never quite successfully quiets anyone down. Pepper frowns, waiting for me to elaborate.

“I mean—no going easy on each other. If we’re going to play at this, we’re both going to give it our A game, okay? No holding back because we’re . . .”

Friends, I almost say. No, I’m going to say. But then—

“I’d appreciate it if even one of you acknowledged the bell with your silence,” Mrs. Fairchild grumbles.

I turn to Pepper, expecting to find her snapping to attention the way she always does when an adult comes within a hundred feet of disciplining her. But her eyes are still intent on me, like she is sizing something up—like she’s looking forward to something I haven’t anticipated yet.

“All right. No taking it personally. And no holding back.”

She holds her hand out for me to shake again, under the desk so Mrs. Fairchild won’t see it. I smile and shake my head, wondering how someone can be so aggressively seventeen and seventy-five at the same time, and then I take it. Her hand is warm and small in mine, but her grip is surprisingly firm, with a pressure that almost feels like she’s still got her fingers wrapped around mine even after we let go.

I turn back to the whiteboard, a ghost of a smirk on my face. “Let the games begin.”



EARLY PRAISE

"Tweet Cute delivers in every possible way: a perfect enemies-to-lovers romance, a whip-smart plotline, and endearingly real characters. I devoured it.” - Francesca Zappia, author of Eliza and Her Monsters

"Sweet and fun! An adorable debut that updates a classic romantic trope with a buzzy twist." - Jenn Bennett, author of Alex, Approximately and Serious Moonlight

“A witty rom-com reinvention for the Twitter age, Tweet Cute pairs delicious online rivalry with deeply relatable insights on family pressure and growing up. This fresh, funny read had us hitting ‘favorite’ from page one.” - Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka, authors of Always Never Yours and If I’m Being Honest 



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



You can follow my bookstagram here for more bookish content!

To get more awesome posts like this post, click the follow button to the right!

I am a "BookishTextDesign" Influencer! Use my code LAUREN10 for a discount off your bookmark purchases! Check out the shop here

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link



Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Favorite Books of 2019


It's now time for one of my favorite annual posts where I discuss my favorite books of the previous year! This past 2019 was an insane year for me in all aspects of life, but especially in reading. I read 138 books in the span of the last twelve months and narrowing down my top 10 was definitely challenging for me. There are so many other books that I could have put on this list, but if you'd like to know more of my favorites, check out my Goodreads shelf here.

A few little things before going in: I narrowed it down to just 10 this year because a longer list would be a lot in a blog post. Additionally, I included books in the same series as one spot because if I'd kept them separate, this list would have been dominated by three series. Now that that's out of the way, without further ado, let's dive into the books I loved in 2019!



#10: Only A Breath Apart by Katie McGarry


I read this back in June and was blown away. This book impacted me in ways I can't even describe. I saw so much of myself in these characters and this story and I felt so seen. While I can relate to characters in other novels, I felt that this story especially hit me hard because I could understand a lot of the situations more. I will admit to crying a lot in this book. I had always enjoyed Katie's books when I'd read them previously but this book really cemented in Katie's place on my favorite authors list.

Goodreads     |     Review



#9: The Last Namsara & The Caged Queen by Kristen Ciccarelli

The Caged Queen (Iskari, #2)

I'd been wanting to read The Last Namsara since it first came out and I was lucky enough to be sent all three books in this series in exchange for review. I finished the first two in the last bits of 2019 and I'm very much looking forward to the third. What really made these books hit this list was the fact that I definitely binge-read as much of these books as I could. Both of these are pretty different from each other but I thought that really shows Kristen's diverse writing ability. After these two, I'm very excited to see what she does next with the final book.

Goodreads     |     Book 1 Review     |     Book 2 Review



#8: A Wicked Trilogy by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Jennifer is one of my favorite authors of all time and I was so excited to dive into another series of hers. I binge-read this one over the summer and absolutely fell in love with the characters and story. It's set in New Orleans, a place I've always wanted to visit, and is all about fae and fae-hunters. It was a wonderful ride from start to finish that had me laughing, crying, and throwing the book across the room (which, as all readers know, is the highest praise). I'm very excited to dive into the spin-off sequel novellas as soon as the third one is released later this year.

Goodreads     |     Book 1 Review     |     Book 2 Review     |     Book 3 Review



#7: A Fallen Hero by Sara A. Noë

A Fallen Hero (Chronicles of Avilésor: War of the Realms #1)

This was one of the more surprising placements on this list. When I was first contacted about reviewing this book, I was interested in the story but had reservations since I hadn't seen much conversation around it. I'm so glad that I gave it a go because it was a wonderful ride. It's such an interesting story concept and, despite being over 450 pages, I felt like I flew through it. I never wanted it to end and I already can't wait for the sequel to come out later this year.

Goodreads     |     Review



#6: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Red, White & Royal Blue

Up next I have another surprise placement. I don't tend to reach for or read a lot of contemporaries because I prefer my stories to have something else going on besides just the romance. However, there was a lot of hype surrounding this one and it actually sounded like something I'd be interested in, so I preordered it. I ended up reading it in almost one sitting and absolutely loved it. I was laughing, I was crying, and I was so invested in this book and these characters. I can't wait to reread it soon and also see what the author does next!

Goodreads     |     Review



#5: Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco


While I read the first book back when it came out many years ago, I didn't actually get around to reading the rest of these books until 2019. I don't know why, since Stalking Jack the Ripper was a book that I absolutely loved. However, I finally read them all this year and absolutely fell in love even more than I already was. Every book took the characters on a different journey and development and it was honestly such a joy to read it all.

Goodreads     |     Book 2  Review     |     Book 3 Review



#4: Witchlands series by Susan Dennard

Image result for witchlands series 

While I read Truthwitch at the end of 2018, I read the rest of these books in 2019 to catch up with the series and fell in love with them. I think Bloodwitch is my favorite so far and I can't wait to see what happens in the next few books in the series. These books are just so interesting and fun and suspenseful. The world is interesting, the magic exciting, and the characters compelling. I can't wait to reread them soon!

Goodreads     |     Book 1 Review     |     Book 2 Review



#3: Kingsbane by Claire Legrand


Furyborn was one of my favorite books of 2018 so it's no surprise that Kingsbane also landed a spot on my favorites list. This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019 and it definitely blew me away. So much happens in this book and there were so many mind-blowing moments. I definitely was completely destroyed by the ending of this book and I can't believe the massive cliffhangers that we got left with. I just have one thing to say...I really need a copy of Lightbringer already.

Goodreads     |     Review



#2: The City of Brass & The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty


These first two books in the Daevabad trilogy also were a complete shock to me when I read them. To be fair, I'd heard nothing but good things about them but I didn't really have the desire to get copies of them until I won a giveaway for the first book and ended up with an ARC of the second. I binged them one after the other and fell in love. There was not a moment while reading these where I wanted to put them down. The characters are phenomenal, the world extremely vivid and interesting, and the political intrigue and social issues kept me turning the pages as fast as I could. I am so excited for the final book to release in 2020, though I am sad to see this trilogy come to an end so soon after I discovered it.

Goodreads     |     Book 1 Review     |     Book 2 Review



#1: Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin


My favorite book of the year definitely goes to Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin. Not only is this book extremely gorgeous, but the story itself is a perfect combination of a lot of my favorite tropes and genres. We have a fantasy romance with some enemies-to-lovers, arranged marriage, witch vs witch hunter, and even more. I read this book so quickly and I think about it all the time. I've been wanting to reread it from the moment that I finished the last page and I can't wait to actually be able to reread it later this year.

Goodreads     |     Review



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



You can follow my bookstagram here for more bookish content!

To get more awesome posts like this post, click the follow button to the right!

I am a "BookishTextDesign" Influencer! Use my code LAUREN10 for a discount off your bookmark purchases! Check out the shop here

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link



Saturday, January 4, 2020

Blog Tour: "Scavenge the Stars" by Tara Sim + GIVEAWAY



Hello everyone...I'm back today with the first blog tour of 2020! Blog tours are one of my absolute favorite things to do on my blog and I'm very excited to be sharing this awesome book with you today. Here's what you should look forward to in this post: synopsis and information on the book, purchase links, my personal review, a preorder campaign where you can get exclusive Scavenge the Stars goodies, information about the author, and an exclusive giveaway! How about we just jump straight in...



SYNOPSIS

When Amaya rescues a mysterious stranger from drowning, she fears her rash actions have earned her a longer sentence on the debtor ship where she's been held captive for years. Instead, the man she saved offers her unimaginable riches and a new identity, setting Amaya on a perilous course through the coastal city-state of Moray, where old-world opulence and desperate gamblers collide. Amaya wants one thing: revenge against the man who ruined her family and stole the life she once had. But the more entangled she becomes in this game of deception-and as her path intertwines with the son of the man she's plotting to bring down-the more she uncovers about the truth of her past. And the more she realizes she must trust no one…

Packed with high-stakes adventure, romance, and dueling identities, this gender-swapped retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo is the first novel in an epic YA fantasy duology, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo.

Written by Tara Sim
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: January 7th 2020
Book Length: 336 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings



MY REVIEW

4 // 5 stars

I was very excited when I found out that I was going to get a chance to read this book early. It had been on my radar for a few months and sounded right up my alley. I really did enjoy it and I'm super interested in seeing where the story goes in the sequel. 

Okay so this is a gender-bent Count of Monte Cristo retelling, which would mean more to me if I even knew what Monte Cristo was about. However, you don't need to know that story to enjoy this one (obviously, seeing as I wasn't confused throughout). We follow two main perspectives that alternate every chapter and begin to intertwine the further along in the novel you read. I really enjoyed reading about both of the two characters who narrated these perspectives.

I'm trying to keep this review a bit shorter since this is a long post, but I do want to briefly mention the things I enjoyed: the ruthless nature of this world, the characters (main and side), the high-stakes and backstabbery, the representation, and so much more. I do think that the one thing this story could have benefited from was a richer world-building. The world is so unique and interesting, but we weren't given much information on it which was a bit confusing at times when characters would refer to cultures or empires. On the other hand, we also didn't get info-dumped on, which was good.

Overall, I did enjoy my time reading this book and I am excited to find out what happens next! 




MEET TARA SIM

Tara Sim is the author of Scavenge the Stars (Disney-Hyperion) and the Timekeeper trilogy (Sky Pony Press) and writer of all things magic. She can often be found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California.

When she's not writing about mischievous boys in clock towers, Tara spends her time drinking tea, wrangling cats, and occasionally singing opera. Despite her bio-luminescent skin, she is half-Indian and eats way too many samosas.

Tara is represented by Victoria Marini at Irene Goodman Literary Agency.

Name pronunciation: "tar-ah" (not "terr-ah").

GOODREADS     |     WEBSITE     |     TWITTER     |     FACEBOOK
INSTAGRAM     |     TUMBLR     |     PINTEREST



PURCHASE SCAVENGE THE STARS


AMAZON     |     BARNES & NOBLE     |     ITUNES
KOBO     |     GOOGLE BOOKS



PREORDER PROMOTION

This book has a preorder campaign! Don't know what that is? A preorder campaign is typically done to promote a book prior to its release. If you screenshot your preorder receipt, you can submit it via a special link or email to get some goodies! Scavenge the Stars has a great preorder campaign going on RIGHT NOW so definitely check it out if you're interested in snagging some goodies for this book!


Prize Details
  • Original 9x12 art piece from Alex Castellanos (@alexisc_art)
  • 3 exclusive character cards
  • Exclusive book mark
  • Signed bookplate from author Tara Tim

If you submit your receipt here by January 7, you can receive all of the goodies listed above and shown in the picture! 

If you'd like more information, you can find the original announcement post from the author right here



GIVEAWAY

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, there is a tour-wide giveaway being run! Unfortunately, this is US-only but for all of you American readers out there, you'll definitely want to check this out!

Details
Win 1 finished copy of Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim
Ends January 15, 2020
US-only

a Rafflecopter giveaway
If the widget doesn't work, enter via this link here



Follow along with the rest of the tour here!





Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



You can follow my bookstagram here. A brand new giveaway will be posted soon!

To get more awesome content like this post, click the follow button to the right!

I am a "BookishTextDesign" Influencer! Use my code LAUREN10 for a discount off your bookmark purchases! Check out the shop here

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link