KING’S BLOOD Book Release Party

Isn’t it awesome when a favorite author releases a new book?  Jill Williamson has been a favorite author of mine and she just released the second book in the Kinsman Chronicles!!

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Amazon | Barnes & Nobels | Goodreads | Author’s Website
There is also an epic sale on Jill’s website right now!!

Jill Williamson’s Fantasy Saga Continues!
In the second volume of Jill Williamson’s Kinsman Chronicles, a remnant has escaped the destruction of the Five Realms and now lives on several hundred ships adrift at sea. As a flock, they sail north into the unknown in hopes of finding land that might become their new home.
As the king’s illness worsens, SAr Wilek takes authority over the expedition and struggles to rule the disjointed people, while assassination attempts, vicious serpents, and dark magic endanger his life.
One prophecy has come to pass, but another looms dauntingly in the future. Who is this Deliverer? And if the Magonians have him, what might that mean for the realm of Armania?

Dragons, School, and New Books

Hello everyone!  Rivka here.  I know I have been absent on blogsphere lately, but I do have good reasons!

I have been on an adventure in which I met a dragon and had to talk my way out of being eaten all while carrying a precious gem for a king friend of mine.  I’m just thankful that I made it back alive, and I will never forget the people I met on my adventuring.

Or, that’s what I’d rather have been doing.

Instead I have been busy with…

….wait for it….

school.

The number one consumer of my time.  At least I’m learning new things, so that one day I can go slay dragons!

 

Currently, I am in the beginning of my most challenging semester to date, and just don’t have time to write up creative blog posts.  I’ve not even written proper book reviews lately!
I have decided not to feel guilty about this.  I’m not going to feel guilty about my lack of blog posts and book reviews.  I need a break from it so I can study and do well in my classes.

So, unfortunately, the hiatus is not going to end for the next two months. That is, unless I have a burst of inspiration and enough time to write it, then I will post!  But don’t count on it.

I’ll still be popping in and out on Goodreads and I’m trying to post once a week on Instagram, and you are welcome follow me there!

 

In other news, I took a break for half a day on Saturday and went to Uprise Festival.  If you don’t know what that is, you are missing out.  It is only the most amazingest Christian music festival ever!!

And being the bookworm, umm, I mean bookdragon that I am, I found the only vendor that had a small handful of books off to one corner of his table.  Yes, I can’t even go to a music festival without finding books!

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I won’t get around to reading these for a while (because school), but I’m just happy to have them.  Look how pretty they are!  And they are about dragons too!

 

I hope you all are having a fantastic year.  Don’t miss me too much! (but don’t have too much fun without me either :P)

Happy Reading!

Where has the year gone?? The Mid Year Freak Out Tag

Thanks Sierra for tagging me!

I can’t believe the year is over halfway over!  Overall, I feel like this is kind of a bad reading year for me.  I’m so busy and it takes me forever to get through books now!!  But I have read some pretty amazing books this year.

Best Book Read in 2016?

I’ve only rated 3 books 5 stars this year

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I’ve been reading through the Harry Potter books this year and these three are the best ones :)  I’ve not yet finished the last book, so that may be among them as well.

 

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far In 2016?

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To?

Ha!  Like, all the releases this year.

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King’s Folly by Jill Williamson, Glittering Court by Richelle Mead,
The Alliance by Jolina Petersheim

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Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye, Outrun the Moon by Stacy Lee, 
The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay

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Sword and Verse by Kathy McMillan, Square Root of Summer
by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

 

Most Anticipated Release(s) For Second Half of 2015?

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Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson, The Darkest Hour by Caroline Tung Richmond, A Time to Rise by Nadine Brandes

The covers and stories look amazing!!

Biggest Disappointment?

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Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

I loved Between Shades of Gray, so I guess by expectations for her latest book were too high.  I was really disappointed with this one.

 

Biggest Surprise?

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Dawn of Arcana by Rei Toma

This is the first Manga that I read the whole book!  I’ve read several others in the series as well.  I wasn’t too sure going into this book, but I really like it!

 

Favorite New Author?

I think Nadine Brandes :)

 

Newest Fictional Crush?

My fictional crush will alway be Mason from The Safe Land books <3

 

Newest Favorite Character?

Fred and George Weasley!!  And the entire Weasley family from Harry Potter :)

 

Book That Made You Cry?

Tears. Don’t read it public like I did.

 

Book That Made You Happy?

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Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter

These books are just fun to read!

 

Most Beautiful Book You Bought So Far This Year?

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Blended by L. Y. Levand

I should reread this one soon.  It’s a short book too!

 

What Books Do You “need” to Read By the End of the Year?

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I’m really hoping I can get to all of these before the year is over!

  1. Rebels by Jill Williamson
  2. Curio by Evangeline Denmark
  3. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
  4. Fallen Angel by Jeff Strueker
  5. Hide and Seek by Jeff Strueker

 

Tagging

I’m feeling lazy, so if you are wearing blue, you are tagged!!  Let me know in the comments if you are wearing blue :)

Remember to Forget — but you probably won’t forget — a review

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Title:  Remember to Forget

Author: Ashley Royer

Genre: Contemparary

Series? Standalone (though I think there will be a sequel?)

POV: First person, past tense. Multiple narrators.

Cliffhanger?  No

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amazon | Barnes & Nobels | Goodreads | Author’s Website

 

About the Book (from cover jacket)
Since the tragic death of his girlfriend, Delia, Levi has refused to speak and can’t seem to come out of his depression. Desperate to make some positive change in Levi’s life, his mother sends him to live with his father in Maine. Though the idea of moving from Australia to America seems completely daunting, Levi passively accepts his fate.  Levi and his dad struggle to live together through resentment and misunderstanding. And then he meets Delilah, a girl who eerily reminds him of someone he lost.

 

My Thoughts

Oh, where do I begin?

I don’t usually read contemporaries.  Somehow, when I do read a contemporary, I choose the most emotional, tearjerker currently available to me.  I knew his book was going to be sad, but I didn’t expect it to make me cry as early or as often as I did.  I quickly learned that this was one to avoid reading in public.

Levi can seem pretty cold, but I understand a little bit of what he is feeling. Not that I was ever diagnosed with depression, but I know what it is like to have my world change forever. I loved seeing the relationships build between the characters.  It was a take-it-slow-get-to-know-each-other kind of relationships.  I love those dearly.  The pacing was fantastic.  There was definitely a lot of emotion packed into this book.  The emotional scenes were well done.

Ending can make or break a book, and this ending was……disappointing.  I don’t know.  It just was kinda obvious and not amazing.  I don’t know how to say this without spoilers, but the first two thirds of the book was leading up to this one event happening.  I was surprised when it happened so soon, as there was still a decent amount of book left.  After it happened, there was a shift, where the rest of the story lead up to the ending.

Other than that, I loved the book.  I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes contemporaries or emotional books.  Or anyone looking for a change of pace from their typical reading, kinda like I was.

5 Amazing Books I Would Not Have Read Without Goodreads

Since Goodreads, and particuarly my friends on Goodreads, help me find many of the books I read, I thought it would be fun to make a short list of books I would not have read if I hadn’t been on Goodreads.  This was harder than initially I thought.  I’ve been on Goodreads three years now, so it is hard to really know what I would be reading today without it.

 

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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
by Susan Cain

Quiet is the very first book I would not have read without Goodreads, and I was not even on Goodreads at the time!  I don’t follow best sellers lists (and likely never will), so I would not have found it that way.  My sister was on Goodreads at the time and said this book about introverts had been nominated as a Goodreads Choice Award.  After seeing what it was about, we reserved it at the library.   This book is now among my favorite non-fiction books.

 

 

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by Katherine Reay

I found this book because one of the groups I had joined on Goodreads read this as their book of the month. I had been wanting to join in the book of the month reads, this book looked interesting, and almost everyone in the group was loving it.  It’s a contemparary retelling of Daddy Long Legs, which I had not previously read.  I ended up liking this better then the original.  Oops!

 

 

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by Marissa Meyer

Okay, so I had previously seen this book on the book blogs I followed at the time.  While most of them liked it, I was not convinced.  You see, I didn’t like the cover.  I’m still not a huge fan of the cover, but books are more than their covers.  Practically all my Goodreads friends were reading this book and loving it.  It’s a lot harder for me to ignore that many good recommendations of this book.  So I read it.  While I didn’t love this as much as most people seem to, it was still a good retelling.
Now I just need to read the rest of the series.

 

 

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by L.Y. Levand

When I’m really busy and don’t have much time to read, I like reading really short books or novellas.  This way I still feel like I am reading, but it is not taking me a month to finish a book.  I asked my Goodreads friends for recommendations, and came to find out that one of my friend wrote this novelette!  It was perfect for my busy schedule, and I very much enjoyed it.

 

 

A Time to DieA Time to Die
by Nadine Brandes

There are many debut novels I probably would not have found without Goodreads.  This is one of them.  It came highly recommended from Goodreads friends, included Sierra.  So I read it.  But I was not impressed.  I had no intention of continuing the series, but some people can be very persuasive, particularly Sierra and Nadine Brandes (yes, the author contacted me, thanking me for an honest review, and I basically died).  I am very glad I gave the sequel, A Time to Speak, a chance.  I really liked it and am eagerly awaiting the final book in the series!

 

 

Have you read any of these books?  
Where do you find your book recommendations?
 Are there any books you found because of Goodreads?

Review: Salt to the Sea – figurative tears of disappointment


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Title:  Salt to the Sea

Author: Ruta Sepetys

Genre: Historical Fiction

Series? Standalone

POV: First person, past tense. Multiple narrators.

Cliffhanger?  No

My Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Amazon | Barnes & Nobels | Goodreads | Author’s Website

About the Book (from author’s website)
In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety. Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

A tribute to the people of Lithuania, Poland, and East Prussia, Ruta Sepetys unearths a shockingly little-known casualty of a gruesome war, and proves that humanity can prevail, even in the darkest of hours.

 

My Thoughts
I love Ruta Sepetys.  I loved Between Shades of Gray, and still recommend it to every person alive.  I was trilled that Ruta Sepetys was writing a new book.  I was thrilled that it was another World War II book.  It became my most anticipated book of 2016.

Maybe this book deserves more than 3 stars.  Perhaps my high expectations and overwhelming disappointment has jaded my rating.  But it was hopelessly disappointing.  I just.  Ugh.

I don’t understand why this book was written with multiple perpectives.  At all.  “But Rivka,” you say, “She was trying to connect you with more characters!”  While that might have been well intentioned, it didn’t work.  She tried to make you see things from each character’s point of view, so much so, that she refused to tell you things that were going on with another character, even though you are reading through their eyes!!

Example: Joana does not know things about Florian, therefore, the reader must not know said things about Florian.  So even though you get to see the story through Florian’s eyes, you don’t really know what is going on with him.  Also, because you  see from Florian’s perspective, and he does not know things about Joana, the reader also must not know said things about Joana.

Can you see my frustration?  You never really get to know the characters because then there would not be big reveals later in the story!

Character connection should NEVER be sacrificed for big reveals later in the story.

I LIKE dramatic irony.  When done well, it makes a story so much better.  It should have been used here.

I absolutely hated Alfred’s point of view, for entirely different reasons.  I don’t even know where to begin with him.  He was annoying and lazy and useless.  I just hated him.  It did not take too long for me to figure out that his chapters barely influenced the story.  So I started skimming them.  Then skipping them all together.  I don’t understand why he was included.

The ending of the book was confusing.  I had to read it twice to really understand what happened with the characters.  Even so, it is not the clearest.

 

On a more positive note, this is a good book.  Just not a great book.

After about I read about 60 pages, I put it aside.  When I picked it back up again, my expectations were greatly lowered, and I liked it better.

This is written in the same beautiful, lyrical style that I came to love in Between Shades of Gray.  Even though I did not care for the techniques employed, I still recognize that the writing is beautiful.

The chapters are short.  Very short.  I LOVE short chapters.  In this case, it helped me read the book quicker because I would read just one more chapter.

As with all of Ruta Sepetys’ books, this is a part of history not really talked about.  I think I had only heard about the Wilhelm Gustloff once before, and that was only because my cousin is really into World War II.  That is a great thing about this book; I was more interested in learning about the Wilhelm Gustloff and baffled at how much hidden history there is.

 

How to Fail a Read-a-thon in 10 Steps: a Captain America digression

Sierra and I recently hosted  a read-a-thon on Christian YA Readers.  While I did a lot of reading during the read-a-thon, I know I could have read more.  I don’t really consider it a “fail” as I didn’t have a personal goal, and I did read a decent amount.  I just would not call it a really good read-a-thon for me personally.

Here are the steps I took in “failing” this read-a-thon.  It’s a cautionary tale really.  The steps not to take when hosting or participating in a read-a-thon.

 

  1.  Sign up for a Tumblr account
    I waited until school was out before getting one, which was a good idea.  It’s basically a black hole.*  Once you enter, you will not return.
  2. Watch Captain America: Civil War only days before the start of the read-a-thon
    It’s awesome.   If you have not seen it – stop everything you are doing and go watch it!
  3. Download Tumblr app on phone
    Did I mention it was a black hole?  Once it is on your phone, you will do nothing else on your phone.
  4. Follow all the blogs posting Captain America: Civil War posts and follow the #cacw tag
    Gifs, scene analysis, fangirling
  5. Look up cast interviews on Youtube
    Because the Captain America cast is awesome.
  6. Realize how little you have been reading
    Sad feelings.  I have been neglecting my books! How could I?
  7. Look longingly at unread books
    because I really do want to read them
  8. Look back at Tumblr dash
    But how could I abandon these awesome gifs and character analyses?
  9. Look at the recommended videos on Youtube
    Which by now are all Captain America cast interviews – all the unwatched ones
  10. Spend the rest of the day looking up cast interviews and scene analyses and staring and gorgeous gifs
    Because fandom.

Ways to prevent this from happening to you:

  1. Do not watch Captain America: Civil War right before a read-a-thon
    But do totally watch it. Right now.  Seriously.  It is amazing.

  2.  Turn off all devices and just read
    This might be too extreme for some people**

 

* The fandom side of Tumblr is basically fandoms and social justice movements times 500.  Plus shipping of every character pairing ever, even if it does not make sense.  Stay way from that blogs that do not make sense.
**By some people I mean me.

 

Have you participated in any read-a-thons? How did it go?

Have you seen Captain America: Civil War?  Wasn’t it amazing?!