Monday, February 15, 2021

Blog Tour: "Of Silver and Shadow" by Jennifer Gruenke

 
Hey guys! Today I am super excited to be bringing you along on the first day of the Of Silver and Shadow blog and Instagram tour! This is an exciting, new YA fantasy that releases tomorrow and I hope you are all ready for it (plus, just look at that stunning cover). Before we dive into my tour post, make sure to follow along with the rest of the tour stops here


Ren Kolins is a silver wielder—a dangerous thing to be in the kingdom of Erdis, where magic has been outlawed for a century. Ren is just trying to survive, sticking to a life of petty thievery, card games, and pit fighting to get by. But when a wealthy rebel leader discovers her secret, he offers her a fortune to join his revolution. The caveat: she won’t see a single coin until they overthrow the King.

Behind the castle walls, a brutal group of warriors known as the King’s Children is engaged in a competition: the first to find the rebel leader will be made King’s Fang, the right hand of the King of Erdis. And Adley Farre is hunting down the rebels one by one, torturing her way to Ren and the rebel leader, and the coveted King’s Fang title.

But time is running out for all of them, including the youngest Prince of Erdis, who finds himself pulled into the rebellion. Political tensions have reached a boiling point, and Ren and the rebels must take the throne before war breaks out.

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Flux
Publication Date: February 16, 2021


Jennifer Gruenke is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara, where she studied communication and writing. She grew up among the redwoods of Northern California, and now lives in Charlotte with her books and the houseplants she hasn’t killed yet. If she’s not writing or reading, you’re most likely to find her in a cafe, music venue, or the aisles of Trader Joe’s.

WEBSITE     |     TWITTER     |     INSTAGRAM
GOODREADS     |     PINTEREST


AMAZON     |     BARNES & NOBLE     |     BOOK DEPOSITORY
INDIGO     |     INDIEBOUND



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!

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link



Friday, February 12, 2021

Blog Tour: "Hot British Boyfriend" by Kristy Boyce + GIVEAWAY


Hello everyone! Today I am so excited to be bringing you all along for my stop on the blog tour for Hot British Boyfriend by Kristy Boyce. I knew from the moment I saw the cover and read the synopsis that I had to read this book (and I'm so glad I did). This tour stop if full of awesome stuff including my review and a GIVEAWAY! Let's go ahead and dive right in!

Follow along with the rest of the tour here


After a horrifying public rejection by her crush, Ellie Nichols does what any girl would do: she flees the country. To be more precise, she joins her high school’s study abroad trip to England. While most of her classmates are there to take honors courses and pad their college applications, Ellie is on a quest to rebuild her reputation and self-confidence. And nothing is more of a confidence booster than getting a hot British boyfriend.

When Ellie meets Will, a gorgeous and charming Brit, she vows to avoid making the same mistakes as she did with the last guy she liked. Which is why she strikes up a bargain with Dev, an overachieving classmate who she’s never clicked with, but who does seem to know a lot about the things Will is interested in—if he helps her win over her crush, then she’ll help him win over his.

But even as Ellie embarks on a whirlwind romance, one that takes her on adventures to some of England’s most beautiful places, she still needs to figure out if this is actually the answer to all her problems…and whether the perfect boyfriend is actually the perfect boy for her.

Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pub. Date: February 9, 2021


4 // 5 stars

When I read the synopsis for this book, I started recognizing many parallels between this story and my own life. While I was never publicly rejected and forced to flee the country to avoid embarrassment, I did study abroad in England for a semester where I met my hot British boyfriend. I was really intrigued to see how this story tackled the studying abroad experience and overall British-culture.

This book was a solid YA contemporary. I will admit that I'm straying more towards enjoying NA or Adult contemporaries nowadays. However, really good YA contemporaries still find their way into my heart. This was one of those. I do think part of that was due to the fact that I did study abroad so I did understand British references and I could relate to the experience of exploring a new country. The other part was just that our narrator was so fun to read from.

I've seen some people say that the narrator was cringey or unrelatable but when I think back to my high school days, I realize that I was just as cringey. High schoolers, in general, tend to do a lot of things that adults thing are cringey. But in terms of writing an actual, relatable high schooler, I think this book did a pretty good job. 

The romance was pretty cute. I do think there was a bit of quick progression with it, but seeing as my boyfriend and I got together less than three weeks after meeting each other, I can't really criticize that bit too much. I also liked the friendships outside of the romance that Ellie formed with people while on her trip. I am a sucker for a good cast of characters and I did really enjoy a lot of them.

Having been to England many times now, I do think that I understood some of the references more than an average reader would. In that way, I felt like I was let in on an inside secret. However, I do think some of the culture or traveling scenes could have been a bit more descriptive for those who might not know much about British culture themselves.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There were many times I was laughing out loud and I really enjoyed seeing Ellie grow as a character. I want to thank TBR and Beyond Tours and HarperTeen for having me on this tour!


"I like my men the way I like my tea. Hot and British."

"When I'm with you, you remind me to be happy."

"Please tell me he doesn't watch movie adaptations before reading the books?" 

"Having a British accent doesn't preclude someone from being an ax murderer."


Kristy Boyce lives in Columbus, OH and teaches psychology as a senior lecturer at The Ohio State University. When she’s not spending time with her husband and son, she’s usually writing, reading, putting together fairy gardens, or watching happy reality TV (The Great British Bake-Off and So You Think You Can Dance are perennial favorites)

WEBSITE    |    TWITTER    |    INSTAGRAM


AMAZON    |    BARNES & NOBLE    |    BOOK DEPOSITORY
INDIGO    |    INDIEBOUND


Prize: One finished copy of Hot British Boyfriend
February 8 - February 15, 2021
Direct Entry Link

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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!

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link



Sunday, February 7, 2021

Favorite Books of 2020



One of my favorite posts to do every year is when I rank my favorite books of the year. We're finally at that time and I finally get to talk about all of the amazing new favorites I have from this year. I will say that 2020 overall was a weird reading year for me. I read 107 books but a lot of those were rereads or completed series. As I put series as a single slot in my favorites list, it means I had a lot less books to chose from than normal when I usually read from more series. 

Despite all that, I have finally narrowed down my list to my top 10 books of 2020. This was actually quite difficult to do but I did it! Before we get into those, if you'd like to see more of my 2020 wrap-up posts, check out this page here. You can also check out my Goodreads 2020 Wrap-Up with all the books I read here!



Coming in at number 10, I have Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout. This is book two in the Covenant series and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I reread the first book, Half-Blood, because I decided I finally wanted to finish the series and found Pure to be even better than the first book! There were a lot of feels involved and I'm so excited to continue on with the series in the new year. You can find my review here




At number 9, I have the three Summer King novellas by Jennifer L. Armentrout: The Prince, The King, and The Queen. These are three spin-off novellas in A Wicked Trilogy (also by Jennifer) which is one of my favorite series by her. The novellas were so good and addicting. I read them all in the same few days and it was such a ride. I only wish that they had been full length novels so that I could have spent more time with the two main characters (who I absolutely fell in love with!). You can find my review for the novellas here




For number 8, I have All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace. This is the first book in a debut nautical fantasy duology ending in this upcoming February. I absolutely blew through this book when I read it at the beginning of the year and I'm so excited that the second book is coming soon because I have to know what happens next. The magic system was so intriguing and the characters were just so fun to read from. You can find my full review here




Coming in at number 7 is The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I'm a big scaredy cat so adult thriller and horror books are typically a no-go for me. However, this is a more light-hearted young adult mystery and it was so much fun. There were definitely parts where I was feeling the mystery/thriller aspect, but most of the book was just fun or exciting moments. I am so incredibly excited for the second book to come out later this year. We just got a title and cover reveal in the past few weeks and my hype for the sequel just keeps growing! You can find my review for The Inheritance Games here




For number 6, I have Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall. This was one that I initially listened to on audiobook before buying the finished copy and, I have to say, that was definitely one of the best ways to read it. I ended up connecting so much with the characters and falling so in love with their story. This book was so much fun and had me laughing out loud a lot. It's definitely one of my favorite romcoms of all time now! You can find my review for Boyfriend Material here




Coming in at number 5 I have the Ash Princess trilogy by Laura Sebastian. I first read Ash Princess back before it even came out as an early reviewer and I enjoyed it quite a bit then. I didn't get around to reading the second book when it came out and, by the time the third book came out, I had pretty much forgotten everything about the first book. However, I was chosen for a blog tour for the series and was sent the entire trilogy to read. I binged it in spring right before and at the beginning of lockdown and had a blast! These books were so fun, so emotional, and so intriguing. I'm a big fan of the magic systems and absolutely love the characters involved in these books. I'm so glad that I decided to sign up for the tour as I can't imagine not having this new favorite series on my shelf. You can find my review of the first book here




For number four, I have Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova. I, again, was on a blog tour for this book last year and am so happy that I was. I read this book in just one sitting and became obsessed with it. It was so good, so intriguing, and made me feel so many things. I have five editions now of this book because it's just one of my all-time favorites now. I can't wait for the second book to release later this year so that I can finally see how it all ends! Zoraida truly has a gift for writing and I am very much looking forward to exploring her other backlist titles and upcoming releases. You can find my full review of Incendiary here




Coming in at number 3, I chose She's With Me by Jessica Cunsolo. This is a book that I started all the way back when it was first publishing chapter-by-chapter on Wattpad. Five or so years later and I finally had the finished, published copy in my hands. I read this book in one sitting back at the start of lockdown and fell in love. It was so wonderful being reunited with these characters in a revised, updated, and more polished story. I cannot wait to finish the second book (which I'm currently in the middle of!). You can find my full review here




The number two book that I read in 2020 was, of course, House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas. There's no doubt in my mind that this would have been my number one read for the year if I hadn't been spoiled for a major plot point before I even started. I was way less impacted by some of the twists and turns because I already knew what happened for that particular plotline. However, the rest of the book absolutely nailed it. The characters? Amazing. The story? Fantastic. The writing? Phenomenal. Sarah's first real shot at adult fantasy was so well-executed and I can't wait to reread it this year (and hopefully get the second book!). You can find my full review here.




The number 1 spot on this list goes to the Renegades trilogy by Marissa Meyer. I was obsessed with these books. I binge read this entire trilogy and had an absolute blast reading them. They were so good and, honestly, I can't believe I didn't read these books sooner. I'd heard the hype. I'd enjoyed all of Marissa's other books I'd read before. Yet I didn't think I'd enjoy these. I'm glad that I finally took the plunge because these have shot up into some of my favorite books of all time. I cannot wait to reread these in the and to have actual shelves to display them on in the future. You can find my review of Renegades here.




Thanks for reading! What were your favorite books of the year? Let me know in the comments down below! 
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!

Use LAUREN10 for a discount on beautiful bookish and custom bookmarks from Total Bookish Eclipse!

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link



Saturday, February 6, 2021

December '20 & January '21 Book Haul


Hello everyone! I hope your winter season has been going well (if you're in the Northern Hemisphere like me). I took a bit of a break from social media and whatnot so today I have a combined book haul that covers both December and January! I got a wide range of books these past couple of months and am super excited about all of them. Out of the eight books I got, some were gifts, some were sent to me for review, and some I bought myself!



The first book that I got back at the beginning of December was Stay With Me by Jessica Cunsolo. This is the sequel to She's With Me which was one of my favorite books I'd ever read on Wattpad. The series is now being traditionally published and I'm so excited that this sequel is, at last, out and in my hands so that I can finally see what happens after the events of book one. 

The second book I got was A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir. This is the fourth and final book in the An Ember in the Ashes Quartet and I am so excited and also so nervous that it's finally here. I haven't yet read the third book because I've been waiting on this final release in order to binge the series. Now that I have all four in my possession, I am excited to reread the first two and finally finish the rest. It's definitely scary, though, as I've heard this series causes readers pain. 

The third book I got was a gift from my boyfriend's parents for Christmas and it is King of Fools by Amanda Foody. I am incredibly excited to finally have a copy of this book as I've heard nothing but amazing things about this series! I'm already planning a series binge for these books sometime this spring and I hope I can actually make it happen!

The next book I got was the Fairyloot edition of Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova. This was one of my favorite books of 2020 and I set out to collect a bunch of different editions a few months ago. I found this Fairyloot edition for super cheap on eBay and had it shipped to my boyfriend's house to avoid massive shipping costs. Now that I finally have it in my hands I can definitely say it's even prettier in person! I can only hope that I'll be able to snag the matching edition for book two!

In January, I didn't actually get very many books until the last week or so of the month. The first of these books that I got was The Mask Falling by Samantha Shannon, specifically the indie signed exclusive edition. I knew the moment these editions were announced that I needed to snag one since they were so pretty! The black cover is stunning and I'm so excited to add another signed Samantha Shannon book to my shelves. My one inner debate at the moment, though, is whether to binge the series up till this most recent book now or wait a few more years for the series to be complete? 

The next book I got was sent to me for review as part of a blog tour in February and that is Hot British Boyfriend by Kristy Boyce. I was so excited to be picked for this tour because this book sounded so fun. Also, I have a hot British boyfriend of my own so I couldn't help but laugh at the parallels in that regard. Hopefully I'll enjoy it as much as I think I will!

The last two books I got in January were the new hardcover editions of A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. I already had the second book from my birthday last year and am so excited to have these matching editions. While I wasn't initially that pleased about the cover change, I do have to say that the covers are growing on me, especially in person! I really wanted to finally get these for my collection so that I could reread and annotate them into the lead up to the next book's release in February!



Well, those are all of the books that I got in December and January! I have a feeling that February is going to be a very large haul for many reasons and I can't wait to share it with all of you at the end of the month! 

Did you get any exciting books over the holiday season? Let me know in the comments below!



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!

Use LAUREN10 for a discount on beautiful bookish and custom bookmarks from Total Bookish Eclipse!

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link



Friday, February 5, 2021

January 2021 Wrap-Up


The first month of 2021 is already over and what a month it was. A lot happened, both personally and worldwide, and I didn't get much reading done. I'm 100% okay with that, however, as I'm making an effort this year not to force myself into reading. I did read three books this month and made progress on three others, so let's just dive in!




BOOKS READ
1. 
Title: She's With Me
Author: Jessica Cunsolo
Rating: 5 // 5 stars
-reread-

2. 
Title: Her Reasons
Author: J.L. Akins
Rating: 2.5 // 5 stars

3. 
Title: Impetuous
Author: Mercedes Jade
Rating: 3 // 5 stars



BLOG POSTS




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!

Use LAUREN10 for a discount on beautiful bookish and custom bookmarks from Total Bookish Eclipse!

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link



Blog Tour: "The Princess and the Dragon and Other Stories About Unlikely Heroes" by Francesca Burke


Hello everyone and welcome to another blog tour! Today I am so excited to be bringing you "The Princess and the Dragon and Other Stories About Unlikely Heroes." This is an exciting novel filled with magic, adventure, and more! If you've been following my blog for a while, you might remember when Francesca did a guest post on my blog back when the novel was releasing chapter-by-chapter on her patreon. If you'd like to check that post out after this one, you can find it here



SYNOPSIS

Welcome to the fairy tale world of the Three Kingdoms. One magical island. Three monarchies buckling under political tensions. No chance of anyone acting how they would in a bedtime story.

The Princess and the Dragon and Other Stories About Unlikely Heroes: the fairy tale you wish you’d read before some old guy with questionable ethics ruined the genre.

Author Francesca Burke’s debut novel The Princess
and the Dragon and Other Stories About Unlikely Heroes is a young adult fantasy in which unwieldy teens embark on non-health-and-safety-approved quests through their magical, politically conflicted island home, the Three Kingdoms, and uncover secrets that risk destroying the kingdoms
completely.

 At just 196 pages, The Princess and the Dragon and Other Stories About Unlikely Heroes explores modern day issues including political tension, cultural diversity and the difficulties of adolescence through the lens of the magic and societies of the Three Kingdoms. Princess Amelia’s home, the Kingdom of Mirrors, is on its knees, ravaged by the cantankerous Sapphire Dragon. Amelia must find a way to rid her country of its unwelcome guest and work out how to restore its fortunes before her parents marry her off to clear the kingdom’s debts. Prince Richard of the Valley of Dreams knows he’s not very heroic… he’d rather read about quests than actually go on one. But when he finds himself travelling to a haunted tower, he discovers a treacherous conspiracy that could rip the Three Kingdoms apart… and learns there might be some heroism tucked up his sleeve after all. Esme Delacroix is a psychic living in Stormhaven, the only part of the Three Kingdoms where magic is taboo. A terrifying vision sends Esme and her friend Violet on a perilous quest that shakes Stormhaven and the Three Kingdoms to its core.

 Initially published in 2019 on Francesca’s Patreon, ‘The No. 1 Reader’s Club,’ and on her blog, as well as on WattPad and Archive of Our Own, The Princess and the Dragon and Other Stories About Unlikely Heroes was partially funded by patronage and has been well received by early readers, with reviews describing it as ‘reminiscent of Lemony Snicket’.



MEET FRANCESCA BURKE

Born in Rochford in 1995, Francesca Burke decided at an early age that the worlds inside books and television were infinitely preferable to the real one. Initially put off the idea of being a writer because it requires one to sit alone and ignore people, she now finds sitting alone and ignoring people to be the most satisfying parts of the job. She lives in Southend-onSea.

FACEBOOK     |     INSTAGRAM     |     TWITTER     |     TUMBLR
BLOG     |     PATREON     |     KO-FI     |     WEBSITE     |     WRITING BLOG



PURCHASE LINKS

Purchase a copy from numerous retailers OR check it out for free from a digital library here!

Get an ARC via BookSprout!



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!

Use LAUREN10 for a discount on beautiful bookish and custom bookmarks from Total Bookish Eclipse!

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link