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:



Release date: January 10 2017

Goodreads: In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.
At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

Why I’m excited: It’s a Phantom of the Opera retelling. That’s enough for me!

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Weekly Reading Recap


The nights are getting longer and colder. I need some good book boyfriends to warm up.

Currently reading: firelight

Finished reading: traitor-of-belltrollempire-of-shadowscity of a thousand dollsdemons-surrender

Reviewed: pushing-perfectthe diabolic

What I’m hoping to get to next week: this adventure endsof-fire-and-stars to read

traitor-of-belltroll to review

What this means for my 2016 challenges:

  • 184 books read in total
  • 86 contemporary books read
  • 79 paranormal/fantasy books read
  • 44 2016 debut authors read
  • 106 reviews posted



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Top Ten Tuesday


Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday there’s a different topic. This week’s topic is Top Ten Halloween themed. I chose to do Top Ten creepy books I want to read.

10. in-the-end-big In the End – Demitira Lunetta. I really enjoyed In the After but still haven’t gotten around to reading the sequel.

9. pitch-dark Pitch Dark – Courtney Aladema. I loved Shutter by this author so combined that creepiness with a space story and I’m in.

8. girl-of-nightmares Girl of Nightmares – Kendare Blake. Another one where I read and liked the first book but still haven’t gotten around to the second.

7. stalking-jack-the-ripper Stalking Jack the Ripper – Kerri Maniscalco. I keep seeing this one around and it keeps catching my attention.

6. a-taste-of-monsters A Taste for Monsters – Matthew Kirby. Another Jack the Riper novel. Probably shouldn’t read these two too close together.

5. killer-in-me The Killer in Me – Margot Harrison. The trailer for this book creeped me out.

4. behold-the-bones Behold the Bones – Natalie C Parker. And yet another one where the first was good and creepy but never read the next one.

3. untitled-perkins Untitled – Stephanie Perkins. I’ll read anything Stephanie Perkins puts out but when it’s in the vein of scream, I am so there.

2. dreamfall Dreamfall – Amy Plum. It’s Amy Plum and The Nightmare on Elm St meets The Matrix. How could I not be excited?

1. untitled-perkins Black Bird of the Gallows – Meg Kassel. It involves living next door the the harbinger of death. Sounds creepy to me.


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Book Review: The Diabolic by SJ Kincaid

the diabolic

The Diabolic

Release date: November 1st 2016

4 stars

Red Queen meets The Hunger Games in this epic novel about what happens when the galaxy’s most deadly weapon masquerades as a senator’s daughter and a hostage of the galactic court.
A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for.
Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.
When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything.
As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life—and the empire.

I’ve really enjoyed SJ Kincaid’s series Insignia so far so I was really excited to start this new book. The cover caught my eye first, then after reading the synopsis, I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to start it and was expecting much of the same things that I enjoyed in the Insignia series but with different spins. And I got everything I was expecting and more.

Nemesis was a great main character. She was built, bought and trained to be a killing machine, dedicated to the sole task of keeping her charge safe. She was brutal and she completely owned the fact that she was a deadly force. She would do anything to protect Sidonia, her charge, even if that meant altering her appearance and leaving the security of their home to go live in the Emperor’s palace. The changes in Nemesis throughout the book happened slowly and subtly but perfectly. It was believable and it didn’t take away from who she was or what she was.

I loved the whole plot with the Diabolics, from seeing how they were made to be so loyal to one person to how the idea of having a deadly bodyguard so focused on the safety and happiness of their charge could go so wrong. I liked the world-building, that we learned more as the book went on instead of one huge information dump at the beginning. The plot was very well-paced, a little slow in the beginning but really picking up once Nemesis arrived at the court.

There were a lot of tense moments and that made for a quick read because I had to keep turning to pages to find out what would happen. I hated the idea of putting the book away at the end of a chapter because there was usually the feeling that the next chapters something major could happen. From the world-building, to Nemesis’ development, to the character dynamics, this book was a very enjoyable and entertaining read.

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

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Book Review: Pushing Perfect by Michelle Falkoff


Pushing Perfect

Release date: October 25th 2016

3 stars

How far would you go to be perfect?
Kara has the perfect life. She gets perfect grades. She never messes up. Until now. Because perfection is an illusion, and Kara has been struggling to maintain it for as long as she can remember. With so much pressure to succeed, it’s hard not to do whatever it takes.
But when Kara takes a new underground drug to help her ace the SATs, she doesn’t expect to get a text from a blocked sender, telling her to follow a set of mysterious instructions—or risk her dark secret getting out. Soon she finds herself part of a group of teens with secrets of their own, who are all under the thumb of the same anonymous texter. And if they don’t find a way to stop the blackmailer, their perfect futures will go up in flames.

This book caught my interest because I enjoyed the author’s other book I’d read “Playlist for the Dead” and because it seemed like the type of book that could have a lot of twists and turns that would surprise me. The beginning pulled me in but the more I read, the more I found myself able to predict what would be happening.

Kara was an interesting character. The book was told from her POV and we got to see her struggling with maintaining her perfect image. She had a hard time dealing with the pressure of her parents, of high school, and the expectations she had for herself. It caused anxiety and she needed some help in order to get through her SAT test, which led her to taking some pills to calm her nerves and where the main plot of the book started.

I liked the supporting characters that the mystery brought in. It felt like they were going for a bit of a ‘How to get Away with Murder’ vibe, which I will always fully support. I liked the dynamics between them, which pairings could be trusted, which ones were more tentative. Their group and the banter and friendship was my favourite part of the story.

The mystery was a little too predictable for me. Maybe it’s because I watch so many shows that like to throw twists in at every random moment so I’m always expecting it, but I found the whole blackmail and the person behind it to be exactly who I was expecting it to be. The ending seemed a little rushed and maybe a little too easily tied up but I could deal with that since the characters all seemed to learn something from the whole mystery.

*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:


Alex, Approximately

Release date: April 4th 2017

Goodreads: In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.
Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.
Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.
And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

Why I’m excited: I love You’ve Got Mail and that’s all it took to hook me.

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Weekly Reading Recap


I think I broke my computer chair. Are they not meant to spin in repeatedly?

Currently reading: demons-surrender

Finished reading: demons-covenantthe diabolicpushing-perfectimmortal-heights

Reviewed: fate-of-flamesscythe

What I’m hoping to get to next week: city of a thousand dollstraitor-of-belltroll to read

pushing-perfectthe diabolic to review

What this means for my 2016 challenges:

  • 180 books read in total
  • 86 contemporary books read
  • 75 paranormal/fantasy books read
  • 44 2016 debut authors read
  • 104 reviews posted


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Top Ten Tuesday


Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday there’s a different topic. This week’s topic is Top Ten characters I’d name a pet after.

10. under the never sky big Roar from Under the Never Sky – Veronica Rossi. One of my favourite characters from one of my favourite series.

9. snow like ashes Meira from Snow Like Ashes – Sara Raasch. She’s badass and protective so hopefully any pet would live up to that namesake.

8. hamilton Laurens from Hamilton/history. I’m just really obsessed with Hamilton right now.

7. darkest minds Ruby from The Darkest Minds – Alexandra Bracken. Another favourite character from a favourite series.

6. Raven boys big Gansey from The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater. This name has always stood out for me.

5. city of bones big Alec from The Mortal Instruments – Cassandra Clare. I’ve always really liked the name Alec.

4. unwind big Hayden from Unwind – Neal Shusterman. Same with Hayden.

3. harry potter Tonks from Harry Potter – JK Rowling. I really liked Tonks and I think it would fit nicely.

2. obsidian Lux from The Lux Series – Jennifer L Armentout. It’s actually the name of the race of aliens but I’ve always liked it.

1. aristole and dante Ari from Aristole and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz. This book was just amazing and I would definitely use either Ari or Dante from it.


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Book Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman



Release date: November 22nd 2016

4 stars

In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (“gleaned”) by professional reapers (“scythes”). Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythe’s apprentices, and—despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation—they must learn the art of killing and come to understand the necessity of what they do.
Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice. And when it becomes clear that the winning apprentice’s first task will be to glean the loser, Citra and Rowan are pitted against one another in a fight for their lives.

I have loved everything I’ve read by Neal Shusterman so I did go into this one with high expectations. And I got everything I wanted from it and more. It was dark, it had a great dynamics between characters, it was twists that were surprising, and it was very enjoyable to read.

The book was mostly told in the alternating POVs of the two Scythe apprentices, Rowan and Citra. I liked how different they were from each other so it was interesting to see each of them approached being chosen as an apprentice and their training. I enjoyed seeing them change and grow as they learned more about what being a Scythe meant and how it affected what they thought they knew. I also liked the changing dynamics between them. They went from strangers to competitors to friends to competitors again. I thought their ever-changing relationship was really well-done and very believable.

The concept of the world in this book was really interesting. Technology existed so death was no longer an issue. People could be reset or ‘turned’ from old age or saved from any accident. The only way to die was to be ‘gleaned’ by a Scythe, a necessity to keep control of the growing population. I liked seeing all the different Scythes and that each other had their own styles, their own methods. Some were compassionate, others more blood-thirsty. They had their own system for choosing new Scythes to initiate and had rules they were supposed to follow so no Scythe could have a bias against a specific group of people or else they were punished for their stats not falling into acceptable ranges. It was all really interesting and done in a way where their political talk wasn’t boring.

I got completely absorbed into the story. I loved the addition of the journals all the Scythes kept as insight into their views, and I loved that there were many entries from different Scythes included. I’m excited to see where the series goes and, besides being an entertaining read, it completely cemented Neal Shusterman as one of my top auto-buy authors.

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


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Book Review: Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley


Fate of Flames

Release date: November 22nd 2016

3.5 stars

Four girls with the power to control the elements and save the world from a terrible evil must come together in the first epic novel in a brand-new series.
When Phantoms—massive beasts made from nightmares and darkness—suddenly appeared and began terrorizing the world, four girls, the Effigies, each gained a unique power to control one of the classical elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Since then, four girls across the world have continually fought against the Phantoms, fulfilling their cosmic duty. And when one Effigy dies, another girl gains her power as a replacement.
But now, with technologies in place to protect the world’s major cities from Phantom attacks, the Effigies have stopped defending humanity and, instead, have become international celebrities, with their heroic feats ranked, televised, and talked about in online fandoms.
Until the day that New York City’s protection against the Phantoms fails, a man seems to be able to control them by sheer force of will, and Maia, a high school student, unexpectedly becomes the Fire Effigy.
Now Maia has been thrown into battle with three girls who want nothing to do with one another. But with the first human villain that the girls have ever faced, and an army of Phantoms preparing for attack, there isn’t much time for the Effigies to learn how to work together.
Can the girls take control of their destinies before the world is destroyed forever?

I was really excited for this book because of the comparisons to things like Pacific Rim, Sailor Moon, and the Avengers. There was also a bit of Buffy thrown in with the ‘one Effigy dies and another gets activated’ addition. I really liked the concept of it and as a TV show or movie, I think the visuals would have been amazing. As a book, there were parts that ended up falling flat but it was still enjoyable.

Maia, the main character, was an Effigies fangirl. She was a member of their fan clubs, posted in forums dedicated to them, followed their action and their stats online. She was also harsh toward two of the girls she felt less deserving than the other two. So when one of the Effigies regarding as one of the greats was killed, Maia discovered she was chosen to replace her. And her whole world changed. She always wanted to be an Effigy, to be special, but the reality was nothing like she thought it would be.

I liked the other girls and I’m definitely hoping we get to see a lot more of them in the sequel. They were all dealing with becoming Effigies in their own ways, some more successfully than others, and really, they were all just girls who were chosen for something they didn’t really want but now they were the only thing that could save the world. It would be a lot for anyone to handle.

There wasn’t a whole lot of history or world-building yet. I would have liked a little more at least. Maia wasn’t too knowledgeable about why the world became filled with the Phantoms and where Effigies came from so I could understand having no big information moment. There were some moments where they were trying to figure out some mystery where we got some more information on Effigies but I’m hoping for more in the sequel.

Overall, it was an entertaining read and the action sequences were great.

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

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