Monday, February 29, 2016

Cover Reveal: The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle


Hi, bibliovores. Today, I'm helping reveal the shiny new cover for the paperback of...


The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle!

This is the cover of the hardcover:

Are you ready to see the cover of the paperback (to be published on August 2nd)? Here it is!

The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Paperback Publication Date: August 2, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably and unavoidably accident-prone. Some years it's bad, like the season when her father died, and some years it's just a lot of cuts and scrapes. This accident season—when Cara, her ex-stepbrother, Sam, and her best friend, Bea, are 17—is going to be a bad one. But not for the reasons they think.

Cara is about to learn that not all the scars left by the accident season are physical: There's a long-hidden family secret underneath the bumps and bruises. This is the year Cara will finally fall desperately in love, when she'll start discovering the painful truth about the adults in her life, and when she'll uncover the dark origins of the accident season—whether she's ready or not.

Find the author online!

What do you all think of the paperback's cover?

Review: Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey

Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.

Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions . . . and Juliana herself.

What I Liked:

Can we all take a moment to admire the gorgeous cover? I have a soft spot for covers that feature a symbol of symbols (versus a person or silhouette), and I absolutely adore this cover. The ARC doesn't quite look like that, so I can't wait to see shiny paperbacks!

In this adorable historical fiction novel, we have Juliana Telford, who is sent to London with her uncle, aunt, and cousin Carrie, to experience her first Season with Carrie. The only reason why Juliana agrees to go? So she can see if her and her father's research on a lady beetle can get published, and the publishers are in London. Meanwhile, we have Spencer Northam, who is a spy working for the War Office. The Pyebalds, a family that is staying with Juliana's family in London, are a family of interest for Spencer; surely they are the culprits behind a scheme that Spencer is investigates. Spencer is determined to complete his mission, but a certain Miss Telford keeps needing to be rescued. Will Spencer risk getting attached, and putting Juliana in danger?

You all know me - I LOVE adult historical romance novels. I devour those like candy. This book is a very YA/PG-13 version of an adult historical romance novel. What I mean by that? This book has the lush historical setting, witty characters and conversation, societal judgments and rules, and all the good stuff of an adult historical romance novel - minus sex and any physical intimacy, really. Super PG-13. My point - I really like this! I love adult historical romance novels and I adore this cute YA historical romance novel.

Juliana is a walking definition of clumsy, or maybe unlucky is a better word. She keeps finding herself in awkward and potentially dangerous situations, which is hilarious. At first I was rolling my eyes, but her missteps became so endearing. It's clear that she has no intention of entrapping any young gentleman, and that all she wants to do is observe beetles and do more research. But her aunt (who is quite nefarious) has other plans.

I love Spencer! He's a spy and still learning, so he's trying really hard to do a good job and complete this assignment. Spencer is a gentleman (though not a lord), and a very attractive and well-off and eligible bachelor. It's no surprise that Lady Pyebald wants her daughter, Vivien, to catch his attention. Nevertheless, Spencer and Juliana interact in the very first scene of the book, and from then on, to each of them, there was been no one else.

I'd also like to mention Lord Bobbington, who is Spencer's peer and friend. He IS a lord, but a bit of a penniless one, at that. He seems to have his attentions set on Vivien. Bobbington is hilarious, and he's always reining in Spencer's temper (especially when it comes to Mr. Pyebald, the Pyebalds' son who has taken an interest in Juliana - or her money, for that matter).

I guess I should talk about the romance! At first I was worried, because in the first scene, Juliana is introduced, as well as two gentlemen (Spencer and Bobbinton). The author actually makes it QUITE clear which gentleman catches Juliana's fancy (the author spends more time describing him), but I was worried that a love triangle might develop.

That did NOT happen. Bobbington sees immediately that Spencer is interested in Juliana (and throughout the book too), and backs right off. Mr. Pyebald also seems to have an interest in Juliana, but he is sleazy and creepy and Juliana does not tolerate his attention AT ALL (go her!). Neither does Spencer, for that matter. *wink* As for Vivien trying to get Spencer's attention - well, her intentions are just as genuine as her brother's towards Juliana, and her attentions are just as ignored. Juliana isn't dumb, and neither is Spencer.

I LOVE that the pair only has eyes for each other, and this is a constant thing throughout the book. So cute, too! She's eighteen and I think he's in his early twenties, and the two of them are like blushing young lovers. Young love, and all that. It's cute! I love watching them interact. I wouldn't say there is insta-love, definitely not on Juliana's part. But they are interested in each other from the start, and they deny feelings as the book goes on, and soon they can't deny them any longer.

Have I mentioned how adorable the romance is? Sweet, too. I love how they get to know each other, and how much they care about each other. There is some subtle swoonage, and there is one really physical swoony scene (only one, at the end, sadly). But lots of cute moments between Spencer and Juliana, I promise!

I hated Juliana's aunt, but I really liked her uncle, and her relationship with him. I also liked Juliana's relationship with her father. Right there, you have two very strong older-man-younger-girl familial relationship, versus a negative, controlling-father-young-daughter relationship. The aunt was controlling, but the uncle was kind, and the father was kind too.

ANYWAY I could probably go on and on but I won't! I have had some success with the Swoon Reads books I've read (hit or miss), but I think this one is my favorite. And I think it's a standalone, which makes my heart melt! The ending was perfect.

What I Did Not Like:

The only thing I have to complain about is that Spencer's spy work isn't obvious in the beginning of the book, and I feel like it took forever for the author to reveal what the assignment was, and what Spencer was trying to do. We're in the dark for so long, so it was difficult to discern what Spencer was doing. Spencer's secrets were hidden from Juliana, but they were also hidden from us readers.

But all was revealed towards the climax of the book, so it wasn't the worst way to set up the plot. I may have to reread this one to fully understand (no complaints about a reread!).

Would I Recommend It:

If you like historical fiction novels, I recommend this one! The author definitely did a great job of capturing a fictional 1800s London (and I feel like I would know, given how many adult historical romance novels I read!). That being said, if you like ADULT historical romance novels but also read YA (like me!), you'll enjoy this one.


4 stars. I love this book! And it's a standalone, which I really like. No series to draw things out and mess up the lovely romance (*cough* These Vicious Masks *cough*). I'd love to see the author write a book for Lord Bobbington and, er, his lady friend!

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Review: The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows

The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows
Book Two of The Orphan Queen series
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

Wilhelmina has a hundred enemies.

HER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right. 

HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.

HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule.

In this stunning conclusion to THE ORPHAN QUEEN, Jodi Meadows follows Wilhelmina’s breathtaking and brave journey from orphaned criminal on the streets to magic-wielding queen.

What I Liked:

Dear All Other YA Fantasy Authors: Take notes. You want to write a conclusion to a duology or trilogy or series in general? THIS is how you do it. Complex, heartbreaking, developed, gorgeous and so so so satisfying, in the end. How NOT to break your readers' hearts and yet, still twist their emotions and feels and have them hanging on desperately. Jodi Meadows SLAYS in The Mirror King (and I don't necessarily mean that literally - or do I?).

Do I dare summarize this book? It starts exactly where The Orphan Queen ends, with that tragic and totally scary ending. I will say, that certain part of the ending is not permanent. WHY it is not permanent, I won't say. But anyway. Wil is determined to find Patrick, who is trying to rally people to support him in taking Aecor - in Wil's name. Wil knows that taking Aecor means declaring war on the Indigo Kingdom, and she doesn't want that. But you can't always have what you want, something both Wil and Tobiah realize. Both of them must make decisions that will hurt, but the decisions will be for the greater good of their respective kingdoms.

This book. I don't even know where to start. Can I just tell you all that it was AMAZING, a perfect conclusion to the series, and a must-read? I thought The Orphan Queen was fantastic, but The Mirror King probably beats it. Both are getting four stars from me, but it's more like super super SUPER close to five stars. I'm a tough nut to crack when it comes to five stars.

I love how Meadows digs even deeper in Wil's character, and her mind. Is she brave enough to go after Aecor, despite her alliance with Tobiah? Is she good enough to be a queen? Is she ready? Yes, she was born a princess, but is she a capable queen? Wil has so many insecurities in this novel, and all of them are legitimate and understandable and I love how Meadows skips none of them. Wil is every bit of the tough and kickbutt and strong woman that she was in The Orphan Queen, but she has matured and developed into someone who must think of the greater good.

Oh Tobiah. He too undergoes character development that comes from a heartbreaking event. Seeing him making difficult decisions and indirectly pushing Wil away is heartbreaking, but you can't help but understand what he's doing and why. I adore Tobiah. He's regal and strong and someone I'd want in my corner, but he also has insecurities and doubts, just like Wil.

I won't say much specifically about the plot, because I don't want to accidentally spoil anything. But I will say that despite this book being nearly 1.5 times the length of your average YA book, I read it in practically lightning speed. I couldn't stop reading. Meadows just kept throwing twist after twist, crazy event after crazy event. So much of this book happens because of the wraith boy, and the wraith, and a different villain who is creepy. Meadows concocts a really intriguing and heart-pounding and exciting story! Coming down to the climax and ending of the book felt like a high-speed gallop to the finish line. I couldn't read fast enough!

The romance isn't the center of the book (just like how it isn't in The Orphan Queen), but it is important and somehow, ever-present, even though it's not physically always present. I like how complicated Wil feels about Tobiah. These two aren't your average couple, and they can't just be together because they want to be. They struggle and push and pull and hurt and fight. I love the romance in this book. 

I'll wrap this up now. I won't say anything specific about the ending, except that I loved it. There is a bittersweet part to the ending, but the ending is so good, guys. It's not cookie-cutter perfect, but rather, VERY realistic for a fantasy novel, and satisfying. SO satisfying, I promise! 

What I Did Not Like:

The only complaint I have is that I didn't think the author did the best job of recapping the big things that happened in The Orphan Queen, in the very beginning of The Mirror King. Typically authors use the first chapter of a sequel to kind of get readers back into the world, and remember what happened (the major things) in the previous book(s). They do it by dispersing the recap throughout the chapter. I think because the author started this book EXACTLY where The Orphan Queen ended, she couldn't really work in the dispersed recap? I'm not sure. But I'll be honest - I read The Orphan Queen over a year ago. And besides the CRUEL ending, I didn't remember some pretty significant things, like certain people's names, or the fact that THIS guy is good and we actually like THIS girl. I caught on as it unfolded but now I want to reread The Orphan Queen (which isn't a bad thing).

So I guess I recommend a reread of The Orphan Queen, before starting this book!

Would I Recommend It:

I highly highly HIGHLY recommend this series. It's only a duology and this is the second book, so you don't have to wait in agony like I (and many others) did. If you like YA fantasy, read this series. If you don't like YA fantasy, read this series. 

If you like to read, read this series. Or maybe you don't like to read? Read this series.


4.5 stars. What a perfect (I say "perfect" but not in a "cliche perfect" kind of way) ending to a wonderful series! I love this duology something fierce!

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (#166)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!

So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, February 21st to Saturday, February 27th?

(all links to Goodreads are provided!)

In the mail:

THIS IS FROM LAST WEEK (that I forgot to post on Twitter!) I'll update the post with this week's mail later on Saturday night. But this is the previous week's mail:

Ah! Thank you, Avon!

I've actually never heard of this one! Have you?

So pretty! Thank you for the trade, Erin!

This is a prize from Sooz! Believe it or not, this is my THIRD copy of the book. :D

A Kindle Paperwhite!

I won this from Christina Farley - thank you so much, Christina!

Seriously intense and amazing bag o'swag prize

I won this from Anna Banks and everything is WONDERFUL! Thank you, Anna!


Harper, I love you! I've already read TMK and FoR. Not sure about the last one, I've never heard of it!

Thank you, Random House! 

Thank you, Avon!

Thank you, Roc!

GUYS YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW EXCITED I AM! I have been looking for this ARC for ages! AHHHHHH! I've known for weeks that I was getting it, but wanted to make sure I had it in my hands. And here it is!

GUYS GUYS GUYS. This was the last ARC I needed, for my His Fair Assassins set! I'd known I was getting this one, but like Fire, I wanted to make sure I was getting it. AHHH!

I know, I just got one from Harper. I didn't know Harper was sending me the book! Dahlia Adler so nicely sent me this one (I knew she was sending it). So now I have two copies. And I've already read the book. *cough*

Thank you, Celeste_Pewter! I have The Winner's Curse ARC but needed this one to complete the collection. It is beautiful!

Goodies from Katharine Ashe

She went to Scotland, and brought back goodies! I love her note - she couldn't bring back a Scottish Highlander for me, so the tea towel will do! :D

From NetGalley:

Yaaassss, thank you for the approval, SMP!

New Maiden Lane novel! I can't wait to read more about Val. <3

For Review:

Trying again with a new Mead book! Thank you, First to Read. :)

This past week was really bad, in that it was really stressful. But I managed to sneak in a couple of reads, and I got plenty of awesome mail over the last two weeks. Time to reset!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Review: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

Maguire is bad luck.

No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.

It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.

From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck.

What I Liked:

I'd like to start my review by saying that this book was not nearly as difficult to read as I'd expected. See, the thing is, I do not like to read books that focus on "tough issues", such as mental health, or rape, or suicide, or depression. Fiction is a means of escape for me, and reading those difficult (yet SO significant) issues makes me incredibly discouraged and sad, no matter the outcome of the book. Girl Against the Universe is about a girl suffering from a number of mental illnesses, such as PTSD and OCD; it's also about a boy trying to figure out what's best for himself, and not what everyone else wants from him. I honestly wasn't all that interested in this book, because I thought it would be on those typical heavy YA contemporary novels that I try to avoid. But, I'm glad I gave the book a shot, because I did like it a lot.

I'm counting this as this month's Pili-Pushed novel, even though I downloaded the book from Edelweiss before needing a push... I've read Stokes' other five novels, and for the most part, liked them. To see other Pili-Pushed recommendations, click on the "Pili-Pushed" tag!

Maguire is convinced that her mere presence puts people in danger. Years ago, she was in a car accident in which her father (the driver), uncle, and older brother died, but she did not get hurt at all. A series of extraordinary events followed, in which everyone but Maguire was hurt in some way. Maguire doesn't like to use public transportation, or being in a car with others. She constantly checks for potential hazards, and has all kinds of good luck charms and rituals. She's been doing great, no accidents lately; she's also been a granite wall to her therapist. But meeting Jordy changes everything for Maguire. Can she trust herself to be around him, or is her bad luck going to strike once again?

Maguire is a strange girl, as we see from the very first chapter. We meet Maguire in her therapist's office, in which she is dodging his questions and being cryptic and not talkative and basically wasting everyone's time. Leaving the session, she meets the therapist's next patient, a boy who won't tell her who he is, but wants her to help him with his therapy session "homework". As it would turn out, he's Jordy, a famous junior tennis player, and guess what else? Maguire had decided to join the tennis team (she used to play), as part of her goals (she isolates herself, so joining the tennis team is a huge step for her). She and Jordy becomes friends.

I liked Maguire almost immediately. I was a tiny bit surprised because often I'll be frustrated with the protagonist of a YA contemporary "tough issues" novel, but I really felt for Maguire. She has all these coping mechanisms in the form of good luck charms, and she selectively blames herself for things out of her control. Logically, you're probably thinking, that's ridiculous! I would probably be thinking that too; but you can really see Maguire's state of mind, and understand what she's thinking and why. I think Stokes did a really good job of making Maguire who she is, and in an authentic and interesting way.

Our other protagonist, Jordy, is equally as complex and strange and interesting. This book is told from Maguire's first-person POV, but we get to experience Jordy's character development parallel to Maguire's. Jordy is a tennis star whose parents dictate every aspect of his life. He's a people pleaser, so he doesn't fight it. But he's been seeing the therapist because he feels like "tennis Jordy" and "real Jordy" are two completely different personalities, and he doesn't know who he really is. Seeing Jordy work through his problems (familial and otherwise) is just as wonderful as seeing Maguire do the same. Both characters have been through so much, and work hard to overcome. 

Did I mention that this book isn't as heavy as you'd think? Don't get me wrong, Stokes really REALLY captured PTSD and OCD, and portrayed the illnesses not how one would think (OCD isn't just straightening pages or matching corners). But the book wasn't constantly bogged down by tragic and heartbreaking event after tragic and heartbreaking event. Maguire's (and Jordy's) story is quite uplifting, with plenty of mountains and valleys.

Of course there is a little romance in this book! Maguire and Jordy are cute and sweet together. Maguire doesn't think she's ready for a relationship, and she's also heard certain things about Jordy. But I like how Jordy is a totally *real* guy; he's also very straightforward and tells her he likes her as more than a friend (in my experience, guys are not so direct). Jordy is a sweetie, a patient and kind person who probably gives nice guys. I love this pair!

Tennis! My favorite sport (well, it's a tie with soccer). I love seeing sports play a big role in YA novels, especially featuring a female athlete protagonist (and in this book, also a male one). Maguire is pretty hardcore! Not as hardcore as Jordy though. Being a huge tennis fan, I loved following all the tennis speak!

Overall, I'm pretty satisfied with this book. Of Stokes' three books, this would be my favorite. Of the author's six books (three of which are under her pen name), it'd probably be tied with Starling (I REALLY liked Starling). My next Stokes book is Vicarious!

What I Did Not Like:

This could totally just be me, but I thought the climax was a little cliche? Maybe cliche is a bad word for what I'm thinking. Like, the climax just seemed like one of those scenes that unfolds and you're just like, of COURSE that happens, because duh, it just happened to be that way... it seemed way too obvious of a climax and I'm kind of disappointed that the author took that route. But this is a small (Alyssa) thing; I think the climax worked with the story, but it seemed cliche.

Would I Recommend It:

If you like YA contemporary, I'd recommend this book. I don't like and recommend too many YA tough-issue contemporary novels, so I'd like to say that it probably means something, that I'm recommending this book. *nudges*


4 stars. A cute, not-so-heavy, important novel on making your own destiny and taking the reins of your life. I'd love to read an epilogue featuring Jordy and Maguire!

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Review: Forest of Ruin by Kelley Armstrong

Forest of Ruin by Kelley Armstrong
Book Three of the Age of Legends series
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC borrowed (thanks, Liza!)

Summary (from Goodreads):

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong comes the breathtaking conclusion to the Age of Legends trilogy, perfect for fans of Graceling and Game of Thrones.

The empire rests on the edge of a knife, and sisters Ashyn and Moria are the handle and the blade. Desperate to outmaneuver the evil Alvar Kitsune, whose hold on the people grows stronger every day, Emperor Tatsu begs Moria to put aside past grievances and ally with Gavril—at least long enough to make an attempt on Alvar’s life. Meanwhile, reunited with her long-lost grandfather, Ashyn discovers that she is the key to a ritual that could reawaken an ancient dragon and turn the tide of the coming battle in their favor.

But with lies and betrayal lurking around every corner, Ashyn and Moria will have to decide once and for all where their allegiances are. And it may not be where their hearts would lead them....

In this breathtaking final book in her epic trilogy the Age of Legends, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong blends fantasy, action, and romance to give readers the unforgettable ending they’ve been waiting for.

What I Liked:

First, I'd like to thank Liza for letting me borrow her ARC. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to read this book early, especially since it was not on Edelweiss. Thank you, Liza!

What a great conclusion to an amazing series! I loved Sea of Shadows, and really enjoyed Empire of Night, and this third book was a lovely addition and finale to the series. I'm sad to let go of the series, but at the same time, it ended so well, so it's hard to be sad!

Usually I summarize the book in my own words, like the Goodreads synopsis, but I'm afraid to do that and spoil something! I'm always hesitant with conclusion novels. But, this book picks up where the second book left off. Moria is with Gavril, and they are fleeing, but then they are caught by no ordinary highwaymen. Tyrus was separated from them. Meanwhile, Ashyn and Ronan are with someone who knows Ashyn - her grandfather - and needs her help. All the while, the war continues, and the empire is more threatened than ever by Alvar Kitsune's sorcery. Nothing is as it seems, and not everyone will survive...

I adore this series so much. Can you tell? Usually I don't like dual perspectives with two sisters, because I tend to develop a dislike for one sister. This book is written in third-person, alternating between Moria and Ashyn's POVs (they aren't together in any scenes until close to the climax of the book, so it makes sense to have both of their perspectives). Throughout this series, I have really liked both sisters. Ashyn is more quiet and calm and rational, and Moria is more blunt and impulsive and feisty. Both girls are incredibly strong and intelligent and develop immensely, from the start of the series to the end.

And so do our men! Tyrus, prince and bastard son of the emperor, has changed a lot from the beginning of the series. He is much more assertive and emperor-y, unafraid to defy his father or give orders. Ronan also undergoes really well-written character development; he's a thief looking to restore his family's warrior caste. But he has never left Ashyn, and has always protected her as best as he could. He is one of the most noble and honest (literary) thieves I know!

And finally, Gavril. Gavril is probably the most important character in this novel, and the one that changes the most. He plays an incredibly significant role in this book, and I personally think we can dub this as "his book", of the three books in the series. He is totally worth redeeming, and we come to understand some of his decisions. No excuse, but explanations.

I'll mention the romance - thank you, Armstrong, for never putting a whiff of love triangle in this series. We have two linear romances - Moria and Tyrus, Ashyn and Ronan, and honestly, the romances are barely there. Moria and Tyrus's relationship is more obvious because they have a physical aspect to it (especially in this book!), but Ashyn and Ronan have a more subtle relationship. Ashyn keeps pushing him away because she doesn't want him to give up his future and his siblings, for her. But their relationship is sweet to watch. Tyrus and Moria's relationship is fire and ice.

There are DRAGONS in this book! As one would expect, given this lovely cover. I loved the dragon that we get to see the most! But I also liked that the dragons were not a deus ex machina device. They did not solve all the problems or make the war go away. Which is good!

There were other supernatural magical creatures in this book, but terrible scary ones. I like how unique Armstrong builds anything magic-related, in this series.

The ending of this book is exactly how I like my trilogy endings - resolute, wrapped up, satisfyingly good, but not too perfect. Both sisters get a "happy ending" that fits each of them - take that as you will. I liked the ending a lot! And the book in general.

What I Did Not Like:

I can't think of anything specific! This book isn't getting five stars from me BUT it is a really great conclusion novel (and book in general)!

Would I Recommend It:

I highly recommend this book, if you've read Sea of Shadows and Empire of Night, or if you've started the series but never continued. It's also a great series to binge-read, no love triangles or painful cliffhangers or cruelties. If you're a YA high fantasy fan, give this series a try!


4.5 stars -> rounded down to 4 stars. I'm really pleased with this series and I'm glad I kept going and was able to finish it (not that I was expecting not to do so). I didn't like Armstrong's Darkest Powers series, but I really enjoyed this Age of Legends trilogy!

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Swoon Thursday (#161): Forest of Ruin by Kelley Armstrong

Swoon Thursday is a hot meme hosted by the fabulous ladies at YA Bound!

- From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering

- Try to make the swoon excerpt 140 characters (or less), if you are going to tweet about it. Use the hashtag #YABOUND when tweeting

This week, my swoon is from Forest of Ruin by Kelley Armstrong!

She answered by pulling him into a kiss. Soon he was under the blanket with her, just kissing, and Moria decided that while kissing standing up was all very well and fine, kissing horizontally was an entirely different thing. It was body against body, hands in hair, legs entwined, deep and hungry kisses that seemed to go on forever. Even the position changed, and with each configuration, there was some new sensation to delight in. Tyrus on top, the weight of his body on hers.

- ARC, page 221

*happy sigh* I love Moria and Tyrus! This series is such a good one. And now it's over! Huge thanks to Liza for letting me borrow her ARC of Forest of Ruin. :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (#165): The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I'm featuring:

The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson
Book Three of the Remnants Chronicles
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication Date: August 2, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

Lia and Rafe have escaped Venda and the path before them is winding and dangerous - what will happen now? This third and final book in The Remnant Chronicles is not to be missed.

Bestselling author Mary E. Pearson's combination of intrigue, suspense, romance and action make this a riveting page turner for teens.

Can't wait can't wait can't wait CAN'T WAIT!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Tsar's Guard Parade - and Giveaway!

Hello, lovely readers! Today I'm featuring The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye, one of Harper's upcoming debut fantasy novels! I'll be reading it later in the month. I've had the pleasure of being a part of the author's Tsar's Guard, and I'm excited to help promote her book. 

About the Book:

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye
Book One of The Crown's Game series
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: May 17, 2016

Official Summary: 

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

About the Author:

Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on "So You Think You Can Dance," and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn't writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN'S GAME is her first novel. Evelyn can be found online at and on Twitter @EvelynSkyeYA.

The Giveaway:

1 winner will receive an ARC of THE CROWN’S GAME.  International.