Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday (64): Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, in which bloggers talk about the books they are most eager for!

Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: September 9th, 2014
Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare in this lush, romantic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.

“I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.”

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

Kiersten White captured readers’ hearts with her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy and its effortless mix of magic and real-world teenage humor. She returns to that winning combination of wit, charm, and enchantment in Illusions of Fate, a sparkling and romantic new novel perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, The Madman’s Daughter, and Libba Bray.

Everybody who has ever talked books with me knows I am a massive Kiersten White fan. I will read absolutely anything she writes because she is an amazing and talented author. She is, in my opinion, one of the best YA writers out there. Her novels are so diverse (compare Fia from Mind Games to Evie from Paranormalcy and you'll know what I mean) and she never fails to craft a beautiful story. She's been an auto-buy author for many years now, and Illusions of Fate is no exception! Even if she wasn't an auto-buy, I would want this book! It sounds magical and mysterious and just the kind of book I love to read and I can't wait to do just that.

P.S. How wonderful is this cover? Look at how detailed it is! I can't wait for a finished copy so I can pet it. (Unless that's creepy, in which case I'll just, you know, look at it).

What are you waiting on this week?

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (4): Top Ten Books I've Read So Far This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish in which bloggers post their "Top Ten" of whatever that week's theme is! This week's theme: 


Guys, I've read a lot of great books this year. Which makes me very happy. I managed to keep my list down to just a top ten, but I couldn't get it into any sort of order. They were all just amazing! Instead, I put my list in the order in which I read them. Without further ado!

*all titles link to Goodreads

- This is my favourite installment of the series so far! Isaiah was such a beautifully broken character, and I could connect with Rachel on so many levels. This story kept me on my toes, and made me love this series all the more. (I've also read Take Me On and it was ugh, so so good)
My Review: Pushing the Limits

- Oh, Thomas Mackee. You ripped me to shreds. But, I adored every page of your story. I'll say it until everyone on the planet has read her: put Melina Marchetta on THE TOP off your TBR. Absolutely one of the best writers out there, and The Piper's Son was brilliant.
- Action-packed, under-dog narrator, and an intriguing story combine to make Avalon one of my favourite reads this year.
My Review: Avalon

- I still haven't accepted that this series is over. It became one of my favourites early last year and I devoured all these books and still want more. Killer Frost was a gut-wrenching finale, but a perfect ending for these characters.
My Review: Crimson Frost

- I knew I was going to love this book right from the start. I'm a huge Whitman fan, and I love books that deal truthfully with mental health. The writing in this book was beautifully crafted, and I connected completely with the novel. Guys, this book is incredible. Beautiful, incredible, stunning, and powerful. I highly recommend you get yourself a copy. 

- Another series I'm having a hard time letting go of. I bawled my eyes out (seriously, like those powerful sobs that you can barely breathe through) when I finished this book for so many reasons. One, because it was the perfect ending. Two, because I miss those characters already. And three, because Jodi Meadows is a wonderfully talented writer, whose words sunk deep into my heart and have yet to let go. 
My Review: Incarnate, Asunder
- Why in the world did I not read this book sooner? Victoria Schwab, what a writer you are! Seriously people, this girl can write! I found myself staring at every page, afraid I would miss one gorgeous word. And then the story! So unique and beautifully thought out. There was nothing I didn't love about this book. (Also GUYLINER YO.)
In the Shadows was even better than I expected it to be. The artwork was phenomenal, and the writing was gorgeous. White & Di Bartolo crafted a stunningly original novel, filled with mystery and beauty. I was blown away by every part of this book!
My Review: In the Shadows
- I don't read a ton of middle-grade books, but I fell in love with Millhouse. I read it in one sitting and sobbed at the ending. This Shakespeare-loving guinea pig was a treasure to behold and his story effortlessly wove themes of inclusion and friendship into its pages. It was just so fantastic, guys.   

- I just finished this book a couple days ago and my heart hasn't recovered. Sloane and James buried themselves into my heart, and I love them completely. The Treatment was just the book I wanted it to be, and I couldn't love this duology more.
My Review: The Program

Those are my top ten books this year! What are yours?

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Review: Avalon by Mindee Arnett

Title: Avalon
Series: Avalon (#1)
Author: Mindee Arnett
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: January 21st
Source: ARC received from publisher for honest review

My Rating: 4.5/5

Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they're damn good at it. Jeth doesn't care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents' ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he'll go to get the freedom he's wanted for so long.

Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon's cult hit show Firefly. (Summary from Goodreads) 

I grew up on sci-fi. My parents always had episodes of Star Trek playing on TV and made me watch any sci-fi movie they thought was interesting. My mom has a keen interest in UFOs and we're both fans of those unexplained mysteries shows. That being said, I don't read a lot of science fiction. I'm not really sure why, but I never seem to pick up those classic sci-fi books, YA or adult. I definitely think that's going to change now because of Avalon

Avalon was addicting. I was enthralled by this story, and by this beautiful bunch of people. It had so many different things going for it! I mean, it had a freakin' space mafia. How cool is that? The premise was intense and intriguing. I could barely take my eyes off the page! Avalon had me interested from start to finish and begging for more as I turned the last page. It was filled to the brim with action and mystery and tons of heart. This wasn't just a book about space, but one about family, strength, and growth.  

I did have a bit of trouble making a mental picture of this book. I had good, solid images of the characters, but the setting (the ship, stations, etc.) I had trouble picturing. I don't know if it was because of the writing itself (which I didn't have any issues with otherwise) or if it was just the lack of sci-fi books under my belt, but some scenes I just couldn't see. It left me slightly disconnected at points but, again, I don't know if it was the book or my brain!

I don't think I would've loved his book as much if Jeth wasn't the narrator. He was a bad boy with a conscience and would do anything and everything for his friends. I fell in love from the first page, and loved getting a glimpse inside his head. Watching his progression throughout the novel just made me enjoy it that much more. He was a character you couldn't help but root for, and I was cheering him on the whole way through. His relationship with his sister was so sweet and caring, and his bravery and strength were admirable. I absolutely cannot wait to see more from him. I also enjoyed Jeth's romantic relationship because it wasn't a huge element. I mean, yeah, Jeth and Sierra had something going on, but it didn't dominate the story. It was just enough to add a touch of swoon and sweetness (even if I was constantly skeptical of Sierra. I just wasn't sure about her intentions)! 

My favourite thing about this book, by far, was the relationship between the characters. I love a good ragtag bunch of misfits, and Avalon's group made my heart melt. There was a beautiful dynamic between the crew. They fit together, worked together, and had such a solid bond. I loved their different personalities, their different skills, and just their banter! It was a lot of fun to read, and I'm seriously looking forward to more of it!

Overall, Avalon was such an enjoyable read. I mean, a mischievous group of kids, a narrator to cheer on, and a freakin' space mafia? What's not to love?

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Find This Book: Chapters/Indigo | The Book Depository | Goodreads | Mindee Arnett's Website | Harper Collins Canada's Website