Booking Sunday Favourites: End of Summer Read

In honour of what will probably be the last day where the temperature reaches over 20 degrees where I live, this week’s Booking Sunday Favourite is End of Summer Read. Something with new beginnings for the new season or something that leaves a lingering warm feeling even after moving on to a new book.

swan

The Silent Swan

Just staring at the cover makes me all warm inside. It’s so pretty and the cover models’ positioning is so cute. The actual story has great dynamics between all the characters and such cute banter between the two leads. Even after reading this more than a year ago, I still get a smile on my face when I think of it.

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Book Review: The Fires of Calderon by Lindsay Cummings

fires

The Fires of Calderon

4 stars

Eleven-year-old Albert Flynn is supposed to be spending his summer helping at the small town post office but when he finds a letter from his father asking him to make a delivery. This delivery leads him to the Core, where he learns that he’s a Balance Keeper. He and his two teammates, Birdie and Leroy, will be training and competing to help keep the Realms of the Core in balance and keep the world above safe. They quickly learn that there’s an imbalance in the Calderon Realm that’s affecting New York City and the balance needs to be restored before it’s too late.

The was a really fun book to read. There was a lot of action, interesting characters, and a world that seemed like it would be both fun and terrifying to live there. The first book in a new middle grade series, it definitely delivered.

I don’t read a lot of middle grade novels but this one had elements that reminded me of the ones that I did enjoy, in a way that didn’t come off as ‘I’ve read this before’. It had the complex world-building without being overly complicated for the age group, it had very interesting mythology which led to some pretty amazing creatures, and it had great characters.

I loved the dynamic created between Albert, Leroy, and Birdie. They were so much fun and they acted like kids, brave kids but still kids. The book was told in Albert’s POV and it was great to see the growth he showed from a lonely boy in our world to being a brave Balance Keeper. It was a believable growth, as in he wasn’t just suddenly an amazing competitor. It took time and practice for all three kids.

The training and competitions against other Balance Keepers teams seemed like it would be fun if you didn’t think about the truth behind it. It was intense training for a dangerous job that could get them injured or killed. But they were still fun to read.

After getting to see the Core and Calderon, I can’t wait to see the other two Realms.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Waiting on Wednesday

New WoW

This is a feature started on Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming books.

This week’s pick is:

wrong side of right

The Wrong Side of Right

Release date: March 17th 2015

Goodreads: Fans of Sarah Dessen and Huntley Fitzpatrick will enjoy this smart debut young adult novel, equal parts My Life Next Door and The Princess Diaries—plus a dash of Aaron Sorkin. Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?
Set against a backdrop of politics, family, and first love, this is a story of personal responsibility, complicated romance, and trying to discover who you are even as everyone tells you who you should be.

Why I’m excited: Comparing a book to Huntley Fitzpatrick, The Princess Diaries and Aaron Sorkin? I’m there!

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WWW Wednesday

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This was started by ShouldBeReading and every Wednesday posters answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently: i'll give you the sun

Finished: prince princessbetweenwitch

Next: fires

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Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday there’s a different topic. This week is top ten books on my fall TBR list. So this is my top ten out of many books.

10. i'll give you the sun I’ll Give you the Sun – Jandy Nelson. I’ve heard so many good things about this one and I couldn’t not put it on the list.

9. The Fall The Fall – Bethany Griffin. It’s a Poe retelling. That’s all I needed to know to what to read it.

8. no place to fall No Place to Fall – Jaye Robin Brown. A good girl with a secret and some impossible choices. Sign me up.

7. lies we tell ourselves Lies We Tell Ourselves – Robin Talley. I never feel like we learned enough about this time period in school.

6. Sublime big Sublime – Christina Lauren. This book sounds so messed up that I have to read it.

5. Suspicion Suspicion – Alexandra Monir. The cover drew me in with its purple maze, but the book sounds like a gothic mystery so I’m in.

4. forbidden Forbidden – Kimberley Griffiths Little. Forbidden romance, the main character sounds like a strong young woman.

3. blue lily Blue Lily, Lily Blue. I still need to read Dream Thieves(main reason why there’s not many sequels on this list, I haven’t read the others in the series) but I plan to so I can read this one very soon.

2. Talon Talon – Julie Kagawa. I was sold on this one when it said shape shifting dragons.

1. Atlantia Atlantia – Ally Condie. It sounds like a dystopian mermaid or siren story so I’m interested.

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Book Review: Between by Megan Whitmer

between

Between

Charlie Page thought she was a normal teenager until a supernatural creature attacks her family and leaves them separated. Charlie finds herself in a magical world called Ellauria with family friend Seth. She discovers Seth and her mother are members of the Fellowship, an organization dedicated to protecting supernatural beings from human detection. Ellauria is supposed to be safe but the spells that should be keeping Ellauria and Charlie safe are failing. All Charlie was is to find her family but she’ll have to ignore the Fellowship’s rules while learning about her powers and discovering who she is.

This was an addicting read with an interesting main character and amazing relationship dynamics. It started right away with Charlie and her twin brother, then with their mom, and their friend Seth. I could have happily read a whole book of just their banter.

Charlie was an easy character to like, Even things that would normally annoy me, like the fake cursing, fir her in a way that wasn’t just tolerable, it was endearing. She was strong and determined without being closed off to emotions. I enjoyed her reactions to finding out about the magical world and all the creatures and especially how even while seeing and learning all these new, amazing things, she never forgot her missing family.

The other characters were great as well. They stood out and complimented Charlie instead of either fading in the background or overtaking the story. My favourites were Seth, Lulu, and Kieran.

There was a lot of action and world-building to make it a fast read. The descriptions of the Between and Ellauria were very vivid and it really added something to them with Charlie being an artist and seeing with an artist’s eye.

I’m hoping there will be a next book because I’d really like to see more of this world.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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TV post time

It’s been a while since I’ve done a TV post and with new shows and old favourites starting back up this week or soon after, it seems like a good time.

Red Band Society: Currently the only new show I’ve seen for this season and I really enjoyed it. I’m not sure if it’ll last with it not doing so well in the ratings and it definitely has the potential to shatter me, but I’m going to keep watching.

Saving Hope: New season starts tonight after a huge(huge!) cliffhanger last season.

Nashville: Currently marathoning this one. It would probably go faster if I stopped going on Youtube to watch the performances of the songs but so many of them are catchy and fun or heartbreaking and relateable.

Lots of new shows, which I usually try to give at least three episodes if it sounds interesting. Hopefully not too many will be added to my must watch live(or watch the DVR as soon as possible) list. That would really cut into reading time.

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Book Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

snow like ashes

Snow Like Ashes

4 stars

When Meira was just an infant, the Kingdom of Spring attacked the Kingdom of Winter, killing or enslaving its people. All except for eight remaining survivors, Meira included. All she’s ever wanted to do was to help restore her kingdom, and now with a plan to steal back Winter’s magic, she can do just that. But the mission doesn’t go as planned and Meira soon finds herself in over her head.

This book had some of the most complicated world-building I’d seen in a while and I loved it. There were eight kingdoms but most of the time was spent in three, Winter, Spring, and Cordell. There were four season Kingdoms and four rhythm Kingdoms, and in the seasons’ kingdoms the magic was female-blooded. There was a lot of politics and negotiating, which could have gotten boring, but instead I found it really interesting. I thought it was just the right amount to show how delicate of a game it can be without dragging down the rest of the book.

Meira was simply awesome. She was independent, strong, determined, stubborn, very stubborn, and I liked her immediately. There was never a time when I felt she was being overly dramatic. Instead I always understood her emotions and decisions and most of the time agreed with her. I loved the growth she showed throughout the book as she discovered more about herself, about the inner workings of the court, and about the big Spring-Winter battle.

There was a little bit of a love triangle with Mather, Meira’s childhood friend and future king of Winter and Theron, the prince of Cordell, but it wasn’t the main part of the book. It didn’t feel thrown in just to create conflict. I liked Mather, I felt for him with all the pressure he had on him and his future not really being his own due to being the heir. But then came Theron, so sweet with a love of the arts and I was instantly lost.

Even with all the politics and complicated world-building, the book was still fast-paced with so much action. As mentioned, it never felt like there was a moment the book dragged. The only problem I had with it was that some of the twists were a little predictable, but that didn’t stop my enjoyment of it.

Definitely a high fantasy series to watch out for. And own in physical format because that cover is gorgeous!

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Waiting on Wednesday

New WoW

This is a feature started on Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming books.

This week’s pick is:

conspiracy of us

The Conspiracy of Us

Goodreads: To fight her destiny as the missing heir to a powerful and dangerous secret society, sixteen-year-old Avery West must solve an ancient puzzle in a deadly race across Europe. Forbidden love and code-breaking, masked balls and explosions, destiny and dark secrets collide in this romantic thriller, in the vein of a YA DaVinci Code.
Avery West’s newfound family can shut down Prada at the Champs-Elysees when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war.
They are part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle of Twelve, and Avery is their missing heir. If they discover who she is, some of them will want to use her as a pawn. Some will want her dead.
To thwart their plans, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the landmarks of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul and through a web of ancient legends and lies. And unless she can stay one step ahead of beautiful, volatile Stellan, who knows she’s more than she seems, and can decide whether to trust mysterious, magnetic Jack, she may be doomed after all.

Why I’m excited: It’s a YA Da Vinci’s Code! Sounds like a lot of action and fun puzzles to try to solve along with the characters.

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WWW Wednesday

www_wednesdays4

This was started by ShouldBeReading and every Wednesday posters answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently: prince

Finished: darkest mindsstrayexquisite captiveangel

Next: princess

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