Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (20) - The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

18798983Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: May 12th 2015 

Goodreads summary:
Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all. 

Why The Wrath and the Dawn?
I love the premise of the book! I love stories where the main character finds romance where she least expects it (actually, most of the YA books I love have this premise) so this book sounds perfect for me! This was also inspired by A Thousand and One Nights and it'll be interesting to see how Renee incorporates that into the story. I'm actually reading the ARC at the moment and I love it! :-)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (19) - An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: April 28th 2015

Goodreads summary:
Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself. 

Why Ashes?
I've already seen so many great reviews for this book and the book hasn't even come out yet! Not only that but the book is already been optioned by Paramount for a SEVEN FIGURE DEAL. SEVEN. I feel that it's going to be a huge franchise and I can't wait to read it myself.  I haven't read much high fantasy lately, but An Ember in the Ashes will probably bring me back to the genre.

UPDATE: I managed to get a copy of the book! I can't wait to read it and let you guys know what I think!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Winter by Marissa Meyer Cover Reveal & Excerpt

So yesterday the cover for Winter , the fourth (and final!) book of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series was finally revealed!

(AHHH!!) I love the glowing apple and the swirls although I have to say that the covers of the series are not my favorite. But its still incredibly exciting to finally have an image for the last book of the series.

In addition to the cover being revealed, an except was also revealed which you can read here. (Scarlet! Winter! Why is November 10th so far away?)

I'm so incredibly excited for this book to come out! What do you guys think about the cover? The excerpt?

Friday, March 6, 2015

[Review] Valiant by Sarah McGuire


Valiant by Sarah McGuire

Rating: 4 Stars
Series: N/A
Version: ARC
Release Date: April 28, 2015

Goodreads synopsis:
A debut fairy tale retelling featuring a strong female character and a daring quest just right for fans of Shannon Hale, Jessica Day George, and Gail Carson Levine.

Saville despises the bolts of velvet and silk that her father loves- he's always prized them more than he's ever loved her. Yet when he's struck ill, she'll do anything to survive, even donning boys' clothes and begging a commission to sew for the king.

Piecing together a fine coat is far simpler than unknotting court gossip about an army of giants led by a man who cannot be defeated. And they're marching toward Reggen to seize the throne. But Saville knows giants are just stories, and no man is immortal.

Then she meets them, two scouts as tall as trees. She tricks them into leaving, but tales of the daring tailor's triumph quickly spin into impossible feats of giant-slaying. And mere stories won't deter the Duke and his larger-than-life army.

Now only a courageous and clever tailor girl can see beyond the rumors to save the kingdom again. 

Valiant richly reimagines "The Brave Little Tailor," transforming it into a story of understanding, identity, and fighting to protect those you love most. 

Valiant was inspired by the Brothers Grimm fairy tale The Brave Little Tailor. However, the "brave tailor" in Sarah McGuire's retelling is actually a young girl named Saville and she isn't actually a tailor at all, but she does wholly deserve the "brave" title. Saville actually hates sewing because she sees it as her competition since her tailor father has always prized sewing and his profession over her.

As soon as I saw Gail Carson Levine mentioned in the synopsis, I wanted to read this. Gail Carson Levine was my favorite author as a child an I absolutely love all her work, so a YA novel with fairy tale elements that has a Gail Carson Levine feeling to it? Yes, please! As I read through Valiant, memories of Ella Enchanted, The Princess Tales, and Fairest came to mind. Although categorized as a YA novel, it has a bit of a middle grade touch to it, which I expected from the start so I was totally fine with it.

The lack of a love triangle was very refreshing and I like how the romance is more of a sub-plot than something that encompasses the entire story. The relationship also develops slowly and steadily and it felt real instead of rushed. I also really like how McGuire focuses more on Saville's platonic relationships; I thought her relationship with Will and the Giants did great for her character development. Overall, I have no complaints about any of the characters in terms of development (except maybe Leymonn, but he's just plain evil) and I thought they were all multi-dimensional. I love how King Eldin displays his other side towards the end and I really thought he redeemed himself just as he started to annoy me.

The only reason why I gave this 4 stars instead of 5 is that it was a little bit slow in some parts and some parts were too detailed, like when Saville was describing the mountains near the cave (or something since I sort of skimmed over that part). But otherwise, I loved the plot, fairy tale elements, characters, and themes.

Valiant is a middle grade-esque young adult novel with a lot of meaningful themes that are great for children and young adults a like. I would recommend it to any fairy tale lover or anyone that wants a light, fun read.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (18) - The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: March 24th 2015

Goodreads summary:
“Ori’s dead because of what happened out behind the theater, in the tunnel made out of trees. She’s dead because she got sent to that place upstate, locked up with those monsters. And she got sent there because of me.”

The Walls Around Us is a ghostly story of suspense told in two voices—one still living and one long dead. On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement. On the inside, within the walls of a girls’ juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom. Tying these two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries.

We hear Amber’s story and Violet’s, and through them Orianna’s, first from one angle, then from another, until gradually we begin to get the whole picture—which is not necessarily the one that either Amber or Violet wants us to see.

Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and innocence, and what happens when one is mistaken for the other.

Why Walls?
The premise of this book sounds so interesting! The two vastly different viewpoints- a dancer and a girl in a juvenile detention center- are so intriguing and I wonder how they are related?? Nova Ren Suma also has such a wonderful writing style so I can't wait to read this one.  

Monday, March 2, 2015

[Blog Hop] Q&A & Giveaway With YA Author Bree Despain

As most of you know, Egmont USA recently announced that it was shutting down, which has left its authors to fend for themselves. In the wake of this event, Cuddlebuggery established the Last List Blog Hop -  a blog hop designed to promote the authors and their books of Egmont's Spring 2015 book list.

Fan-favorite author Bree Despain continues her modern-day romance trilogy inspired by the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades with this second book in her Into the Dark series.  

Haden Lord, the disgraced Prince of the Underrealm, has chosen love over honor and will do everything in his power to protect Daphne Raines, the human girl he was supposed to bring to the Underrealm. Haden’s choice is put to the test as the Skylords and a figure from his past arrive in Olympus Hills with a plan that could destroy all of the realms.

Embracing her destiny as the Cypher, Daphne begins to understand the immense power of her musical ability to control the elements, but she must come to terms with her feelings for Haden and what she must sacrifice in order to protect him and her friends.

Believing the Key of Hades is the only thing that can stop the Underrealm Court from releasing the monstrous Keres on the mortal world, Haden, Daphne, and their friends set out to find the Key before Persephone’s Gate opens again on the spring equinox.

We are happy to host Bree Despian, author of the Into the Dark series for a Q&A about her latest book, The Eternity Key!

1. What was your inspiration for The Eternity Key?
The Into the Dark series as a whole was inspired by my love for Greek mythology--especially the myths of Orpheus and Eurydice an Persephone and Hades. I wanted to explore an earlier version of the Persephone myth that says that Persephone chose to go into the Underworld out of her own free will and not that she was kidnapped (as the most well known version of the myth says). I wanted to explore the theme of following someone "into the dark" (or the unknown) for the sake of love.  In The Eternity key I also got to have some fun with the Cupid and Psyche myth.

2. If there was a movie, who do you see playing the character?

This is a good question and one I don't quite have an answer for. I never really pictured any particular actors while writing. I've been into The 100 lately. I could see Bob Morley (Bellamy Blake) as Haden because he has the right build and complexion. (And he's pretty hot!) If I could get my hands on a time machine, I might go back a few years and see if Jensen Ackles or Jared Padalecki were up for the part. (Mostly just so I could stare at them. Heheh.)

3. What was one of your favorite scenes to write?

My favorite scene in The Eternity Key is a scene where Daphne teaches Haden how to cook. Haden (being from the underworld and all) doesn't know much about living in the mortal world so Daphne decides that he needs some "how to human" lessons. Haden has never had to cook for himself before, so Daphne teaches him how to make french toast and scrambled eggs so he won't die of malnutrition from eating fast food tacos. There are a lot of crazy, action packed scenes in the book, but I love this one the best because I think it turned out to be such a nice, genuine, intimate scene between the two main characters.

Be sure to check out The Eternity Key, the second book in the series, when it releases on May 12, 2015!

About the Author

Bree Despain is the author of the Dark Divine trilogy and the upcoming Into The Dark trilogy.  Bree rediscovered her childhood love for creating stories when she took a semester off college to write and direct plays for at-risk, inner-city teens from Philadelphia and New York. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband, two young sons, and her beloved TiVo.

Bree has generously provided an ARC of The Eternity Key for us to give away! Open internationally. Winner has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the rest of the blog hop here.