Friday, January 30, 2015

COVER REVEAL: Lion's Share by Rachel Vincent

Hey, all!

Today is a very exciting day! Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours, I'm lucky enough to be a part of the cover reveal for Lion's Share by Rachel Vincent. Although I normally don't feature New Adult, I had to make an exception for this one!

Some of you may not know, but the Shifters series by Rachel Vincent is one of my all time favourites. I've been obsessed with it since I was fifteen and I still go back and reread my favourite parts all the time. So, when I heard Rachel Vincent was self-publishing a spin-off series, I was over the moon! Without further ado, check out the sexy cover and the awesome synopsis!!(WARNING: Spoilers for the Shifters series!)

Title: Lion's Share
Series: Wildcats (#1)
Author: Rachel Vincent
Published: February 23rd 2015
Genre: New Adult/Paranormal

Abby Wade has a dangerous secret.

Two months ago, she disobeyed an order, but instead of kicking her out of the Pride, Jace offered her a job. Since then, she's been battling a completely inappropriate crush on the young, hot Alpha. But when accepting his job offer seems like the only way to keep her skeletons safely in their closet. Abby doesn't hesitate.

Jace Hammond has a big problem.

A rogue is slaughtering humans in his territory, and he must eliminate the threat before the entire shifter species is exposed. There could not be a worse time for Abby to accept a job he only offered as a boost to her confidence. Abby is smart, beautiful, and resilient - more than enough to distract any man from the mission. Unfortunately, she may just be the worst enforcer ever to hold the title.

As they hunt the killer, Abby's secret becomes a threat to Jace's authority and to her own life. But the real danger is the grip she has on his twice-shy heart.

You guyssss. I'm so excited I can't even tell you. Reading that synopsis just makes me want to run to my bookshelf and reread the Shifters series. If you haven't read that one yet, you NEED to get on it! Check out Lion's Share on Goodreads and add it to your shelf!

Rachel Vincent is the author of the Shifters series and the Unbound series for adults, as well as the Soul Screamers series for teens.

Rachel's next young adult book is THE STARS NEVER RISE, coming from Delacorte in June of 2015, and her new series for adults will debut with MENAGERIE coming from Mira books in the fall of 2015.

Rachel Vincent is a former English teacher and an eager champion of the Oxford comma. She shares her home in Oklahoma with two cats, two teenagers, and her husband, who's been her #1 fan from the start. Rachel is older than she looks and younger than she feels, and she remains convinced that writing about the things that scare her is the cheapest form of therapy -- but social media is a close second. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and at her website.

What do you guys think of the cover? I can't wait to get a copy! Thanks to Giselle from Xspresso Book Tours and Rachel Vincent!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Alaska Young and Impacting Books

Today is Alaska Day. I didn't plan on writing a post about Looking for Alaska. But then the words just kind of came out. And here we are. 

I remember the first time I ever read Looking for Alaska

I was sixteen. I was pretty lost.

So much has changed since then, but so much of me has stayed the same.

It was my first John Green book. I had heard about them a lot. Meant to read them for awhile. My friend (who would later become my best friend) told me to read it. That I would love it. She hadn't been wrong yet, so I did. 

I was single then. It was May, 2010. I only mention that first part because it was that month I had my first kiss, my first boyfriend. And one of my most distinct memories about Looking For Alaska was texting him about it as I finished it. I remember trying to get the words out. Trying to tell him how much this little black book meant to me. I don't remember what I said. I do remember thinking it wouldn't do it justice. 

There are books that come along that impact you. Looking for Alaska was one of mine. And it first impacted me in such an unexpected way. Because I wanted it to be something. Pudge wanted escape and change and a new life. And I did too. It took me awhile to realize that wasn't what this book was about. It actually took me reading it a second time to really understand why this book mattered to me. But the first time impacted me cause I felt such loss. I felt like I didn't entirely get it. I sobbed and felt sorrow and hope but I also knew I was missing something. There was something beneath the words I didn't get.  Something that was going over my head. Because Alaska wasn't the person I wanted her to be. The book wasn't what I expected it to be. But that was the whole point, wasn't it? I expected one thing from this book, and got something else entirely.

I read it a second time the next year and that's when it really hit me. Right in the gut. I could relate to this book so much. I don't even know if I can tell you why, exactly. But I just do. I know I'm talking like this book is so profound and beautiful and something equally as pretentious. I'm not saying that. I'm saying that, to me, this book impacted my life. It asked me to look at things differently. It questioned my perspective. I love when books do that.

I reread this book for a third time in 2013. This time, alongside my bestie. We live seven hours away from each other, so our version of a read-along is setting a certain amount of pages and texting each other when we're done. I remember how we both were pretty emotional while reading it. (I was emotional with my EYES, her with her words.) It was one of those books we both just get why the other loves it. Even if neither of us can really express it right.

Just thinking about it now, I have so many stories about this book. Defending it, gushing about it, mostly texting the bestie about it. Working at a bookstore has afforded me lots of opportunities to talk about Looking for Alaska. I even convinced a former co-worker of mine to buy the John Green box set. I remember him coming up to me after reading Looking for Alaska. I remember hearing him talk about how much he loved it. He looked almost shocked by it. It's the greatest feeling for me. Getting people to read books that they end up loving. I'm happy to have been able to do that with Looking for Alaska. 

You know what's kind of funny about the first time I ever read it? I actually knew the ending. Well, not the very end, but those who have read it know what I mean. I accidentally flipped to the back of the book to check how many pages it was and saw a discussion guide with a massive spoiler. It didn't impact my reading of it though. I think it almost made it harder for me cause I knew what was to come. And it wrecked me. I get angry about it sometimes. And sad, a lot. I feel like the characters in this book are so real to me I sometimes find myself wondering what they're doing now. Wonder where they went after I turned the last page.

Anyways, this post got a bit longer than I anticipated. All of this is to say one thing: I love Looking for Alaska. It will forever be one of my favourite books. I will read it over and over again and never tire of it. And Alaska will forever be one of my favourite characters. One who challenged my assumptions. One who broke my heart. One who I think and wonder about even five years later. I will constantly site John Green as someone who has had a huge impact on my life (don't even get me STARTED about Paper Towns. You think this post is long? Seriously. It would be insane) and Alaska, Pudge, and the Colonel as characters who changed my way of thinking. 

I'll end this post how the book ends, with words of hope from my dear Pudge: "Thomas Edison's last words were 'Its very beautiful over there'. I don't where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful."

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)   

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday (71): The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

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: June 16th, 2015

A fun, romantic read, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti!

Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over a no-good ex-boyfriend. Graduate from high school without any more distractions. Move away from Orlando, Florida, where she’s lived her entire life.

But Matt—the cute, shy, bespectacled bass player who just moved to town—was never part of that plan.

And neither was attending a party that was crashed by the cops just minutes after they arrived. Or spending an entire night saying “yes” to every crazy, fun thing they could think of.

Then Matt abruptly left town, and he broke not only Ella’s heart but those of their best friends, too. So when he shows up a year later with a plan of his own—to relive the night that brought them together—Ella isn’t sure whether Matt’s worth a second chance. Or if re-creating the past can help them create a different future.

In alternating then and now chapters, debut author Lauren Gibaldi crafts a charming, romantic story of first loves, lifelong friendships, uncovered secrets, and, ultimately, finding out how to be brave. (Summary from Goodreads)

You guys, this has ME written all over it. A little bit of romance, a touch of coming-of-age and sprinkled with a whole lot of heart. What more could I ask for? It sounds like the perfect book to read on those warm summer nights (which need to get here ASAP). I think there could be a lot more to this novel than meets the eye. I'm getting a really good vibe from this one, guys, and I am really excited to see if I'm right.

What are you waiting on this week?

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Review: Crash by Lisa McMann

Title: Crash
Series: Visions (#1)
Author: Lisa McMann
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: January 8th, 2013
Source: Gifted (Thanks, Katie!)

My Rating: 3.5/5

If what you see is what you get, Jules is in serious trouble. The suspenseful first of three books from the New York Times bestselling author of the Wake trilogy.

Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their double-meatball-shaped food truck to school. It’s not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle that.

What she can’t handle is the recurring vision that haunts her. Over and over, Jules sees a careening truck hit a building and explode...and nine body bags in the snow.

The vision is everywhere—on billboards, television screens, windows—and she’s the only one who sees it. And the more she sees it, the more she sees. The vision is giving her clues, and soon Jules knows what she has to do. Because now she can see the face in one of the body bags, and it’s someone she knows. Someone she has been in love with for as long as she can remember.

In this riveting start to a gripping trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Lisa McMann, Jules has to act—and act fast—to keep her vision from becoming reality.
Before I really start my review, let me take a moment to appreciate how marvelous the cover for Crash is. I normally get freaked out by eyes on covers but the color scheme, the detail, the fire in her eye just made me so completely fascinated. It stands out against all the pretty dress and typography covers out there and I love it. The rest of the novels in the series are just as gorgeous too.

Now, onto my thoughts of the book! I had been wanting to read this one for quite some time, but never got around to picking it up. Just last week, the Ottawa Bloggers had a surprise book exchange and I ended up with a copy of Crash thanks to my lovely friend Katie from The Bevy Bibliotheque. I decided to pick it up almost immediately, and I didn't really put it down once I had. This book hooked me. I, just like Jules, didn't know what the heck was going on and I was desperate to find out. I stayed up well past midnight for this one because I just had to see how it would all come to an end. 

The narrator Jules I liked but never found myself loving. Maybe it was the writing style (which I'll address later) or her jittery personality but I didn't connect to her entirely. I liked her, though. I liked her humor and admired her determination. She wasn't going to let anything stop her from preventing her vision and I enjoyed reading her journey. I have a feeling she is going to grow a lot in the series, and really come into her own. I can't wait to see it! 

The real stand out character for me in Crash was Jules' brother Trey. He was hilarious, charismatic and a caring older brother. There was depth to him and quite the personality. I can't wait for more of him in the next two books. And, of course, I couldn't do a review of this book without talking about Sawyer. I can tell he's going to be one heck of a lover interest in the coming books, and I really liked him by the end of this one. I can't wait to see where McMann takes his storyline. I can see so much potential there! I loved the dynamic Sawyer and Jules had, and how balanced they were. They made a solid, adorable pair.

The issue I had with Crash was the same issue I had with the Wake trilogy: the writing style. It's just, simply, not my taste. I'm a huge fan of minimalist writing, but I find McMann's to be minimalist without the impact. Normally, I think minimalist writing packs a punch, with each word so carefully chosen and weighted. I didn't feel that with Crash, but rather felt like the words didn't always flow properly. I found Jules voice to be both entertaining and sporadic. It was like her voice changed between scenes, and it made me not able to completely connect with her. There were moments where I was laughing at her antics, and warming up to her but it never quite got there for me. It's just a personal taste, I know. But the writing did have an impact on my overall enjoyment story. On a positive note though, her writing kept me interested. I did NOT want to put the book down, and just flew through the book. It was a fast-paced style that definitely kept me interested.

As well, and this is just a personal pet peeve beyond anything, the replacement of the word "God" with "dog" drove my crazy. I understood why it was there, but replacement swear words are irritating to me unless they're done properly and consistently. I didn't find this to be the case in the book. I know some people found it endearing, and I honestly get their point of view. I, sadly, just don't share it. But, again, that's just a personal pet peeve of mine. (And, let's be real, I could probably use some replacement swear words in my own vocabulary!)

Overall, I really enjoyed Crash. As soon as I turned the last page, I logged onto the Chapters website to see if we had the second one in stock because I NEED to know what will happen. If you're looking for a fast-paced, intriguing read with fun and sweet characters, you should definitely pick up Crash. I know I'll be checking out the rest of the series really soon!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Find This Book: Chapters/Indigo | The Book Depository | Goodreads | Simon & Schuster's Website

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Most Anticipated of 2015

WHY HELLO, 2015! It is very nice to see you.

I'm not one of those people that normally gets excited about the new year...except when it comes to books, that is! This year, though, I've already found myself more motivated and productive these first three days of 2015 than the last two months of 2014! We'll see how long this lasts but, for now, I'm enjoying the heck out of it.

I'm also enjoying the heck out of NEW BOOKS! There are SO MANY BOOKS out in 2015 that my list got out of control. And I'm STILL sure I'm missing some. 2014 was the year of series enders, and 2015 seems to be the year of series starters or stand-alones. I'm excited for all these new worlds, all the new stories, and all the crazy awesome new books to come. Check out my picks!

*Note: I only put a couple of debuts on this list because I'm participating in this week's Top Ten Tuesday about 2015 debuts and didn't want to be repetitive.


13th: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
- New Holly Black! New Holly Black FAERIE book! *happy dances around house* 
20th: Please Remain Calm (This is Not a Test #2) by Courtney Summer
- This book is going to be rough but so good. SO GOOD. I can't believe we're getting a sequel. I just hope my babies make it out alive! *side eyes Courtney Summers*
27th: Polaris (Avalon #2) by Mindee Arnett
- EEP! So. Pumped. More Jeth and space goodness. I can't wait.

27th: All Fall Down (Embassy Row #2) by Ally Carter
- I have an ARC of this one I'll be reading VERY SOON. Ally Carter is just a boss.
27th: Fairest by Marissa Meyer
- Although I still need to read Cress (I KNOW GUYS. I KNOW) I'm really excited for more in this series.
27th: I Was Here by Gayle Forman
- I am both excited and terrified for this one. Because GAYLE FORMAN. But also really extra difficult subject matter. I'm sure it will be beautifully done, and I'm sure I'll be a mess of tears on the floor by the end of it.

1st: Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard
- I feel like my excitement for this one is self-explanatory. Everyone is excited for this one! 
10th: The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines #6) by Richelle Mead
- The last book with my dear Sydrian. I am heartbroken. But also in desperate need of it.
10th: The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
- Another one with difficult subject matter, but right up my alley. I've heard amazing things from my friends about it, so I'm looking forward to seeing for myself.
10th: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
- After hearing about this one at Frenzy Presents, I was desperate to read it. One of my most anticipated reads by far. 
10th: The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows
- NEW JODI MEADOWS EEP. I'm actually bouncing just thinking about this one. I know it will be marvelous!  
24th: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
- Oh man! We're getting a new Nova Ren Suma book this year! Her books are always so brilliant and I honestly can't wait to get my hands on this one. 
31st: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
- This one sounds like the perfect summer book and just a thousand shades of sweet. I neeeeeed it.
7th: Miss Mayhem (Rebel Belle #2) by Rachel Hawkins
- Okay, confession time. I haven't read Rebel Belle yet. (NO ONE IS MORE ASHAMED OF THIS FACT THAN ME). But it's really highly prioritized at this point, so I know I'll need number two! Also cause it's Rachel freakin' Hawkins AKA Sass Master.
14th: All the Rage by Courtney Summers 
- The ARC of this one is sitting at the top of my pile, ready to be read. My most anticipated book of the year. I know it'll be stunning in every way possible and make my a weeping mess. But it'll be so worth it.
21st: The Remedy (The Program 0.5) by Suzanne Young
- I am so excited to get to return to the world of The Program. Because WHOA it is amazing. I know The Remedy will be too.
21st: Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby
- This is probably one of my favourite covers of the year JUST SAYIN. I've only heard massively good things about Jessi Kirby and I'm really looking forward to picking up this one! 

12th: All Played Out (Rusk University #3) by Cora Carmack
- An NA book? On my Most Anticipated list?! If you asked me a year ago if this would ever happen, I'd say a solid NO. But I fell in love with this series and I'm so pumped for the next installment.
5th: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West 
- Kasie West won my heart last year with her two contemporaries, and I'm dying to read her new one!
19th: A Sense of the Infinite by Hilary T. Smith
- This one sounds so interesting, and like it could be a book to love. 
19th: Hold Me Like a Breath (Once Upon a Crime Family #1) by Tiffany Schmidt
- I still can't believe I haven't read a Tiffany Schmidt book yet! Tsk on me. This one sounds so crazy intriguing! I'm excited to pick it up.
26th: Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry
- New. Katie. McGarry. Series. THAT IS ALL.
26th: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider
- !!!!!! NEW ROBYN SCHNEIDER. The Beginning of Everything is one of my favourite books EVA and I'm ridiculously happy that we get a new book from her! And that I have an ARC sitting on my shelf. EEP!  
2nd: The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
- Another author I can't believe I haven't read yet! This cover is fabulous, and I hear the pages inside are just as amazing. I'm so so pumped.
9th: The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent
- A NEW RACHEL VINCENT YA, AH. I have been a fan of hers for over six years and I've loved every book I've read of hers. This new series sounds so unique and fabulous so I'm pretty much dying to get my hands on it.
 9th: Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn 
- Everything about this sounds intriguing and awesome. 
16th: The Night We Said Yes - Lauren Gibaldi
- I'll talk more about it on Wednesday (spoiler: it's my WoW pick this week!) but ugh sounds so good.
The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick (I've also seen a date in April so I'm not entirely sure which one is correct)
- I adored My Life Next Door and I'm excited we get more from this world! 

28th: Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- I still have to read Stone Cold Touch but knowing JLA, I'll be dying for this one by the end of it.


1st: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
8th: Sweet Temptation (The Sweet Trilogy #4) by Wendy Higgins
- So. The Sweet Trilogy. Told in Kaidan's perspective? YES PLEASE BRING IT TO ME.
15th: Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
- Side note: THIS COVER THOUGH. I'm so excited for this one.  
No Date Yet
Raven Boys #4 by Maggie Stiefvater
- I can't even tell you how broken up I am about this. The last book. I just. I can't. I can't have it end. I will be such a wreck when this book comes out. I'm a wreck just thinking about it! But, I know it will be one of my favourite books of 2015. There is no question.

WOW OKAY. That was a long list. See any you like? See any I missed? Comment below!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The 14 Best of 2014

Well, 2014. I guess it's time to say goodbye to you. You weren't the best year for me, but you most definitely weren't the worst. I'm ready to move forward with a fresh start in 2015, and a fresh batch of books to read. But today, I'm talking about all the gems I got the chance to read in 2014! 


Honorable Mention: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  - (I was really trying to keep this list to fourteen but I had to mention this one!) This book absolutely shocked me (even if I did have an idea of the ending). It was captivating and the writing was so great. I can't wait to read more from E. Lockhart!

14. Killer Frost (Mythos Academy #6) by Jennifer Estep
- And it all comes to an end. TEAR. I have such a soft spot for this series and Killer Frost was the perfect finale. I miss these characters so much but I loved getting to read their last adventure.
13. Avalon (Avalon #1) by Mindee Arnett
- I just adored this book. Unique and intriguing with fabulous characters. I can't wait to see how it will end in just a couple of weeks!
12. In the Shadows by Kiersten White & Jim Di Bartolo
- Seriously guys, I can't recommend this book enough. It is so creative, beautiful, and imaginative. I loved every page and really think you guys will too.

11. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
- THIS BOOK THOUGH WHAT. It was mind-blowing. Very well written and atmospheric. You guys NEED THIS BOOK.
10. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
- This book was so worth the wait. I laughed. I cried. I felt my heart grow ten sizes. Quite possible my favourite of the trilogy. So dang good.

9. Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos
- Ugh, this book though! It was so sweet and powerful. A little jewel I am so glad I got to read. I can't wait to read it again and again and cry from the sheer awesomeness of it.

8. The Archived (The Archived #1) by Victoria Schwab
- I've been meaning to read this book for AGES and I am SO GLAD I DID. Because it was incredible. Victoria Schwab is a master writer, and I need to read all of her books ASAP cause SO GOOD. 
7. Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits #3) by Katie McGarry
- Isaiah, man. And Rachel! So many feelings. This was my favourite of the series and I just can't rave about it enough. 
6. The Treatment (The Program #2) by Suzanne Young
- It's over! *cries* I really didn't know how Suzanne Young was going to end this duology but she did it with grace. I cried (maybeeee a lot) when it was all over because it was just fantastic. (Also Sloane & James = OTP)

5. Infinite (Incarnate #3) by Jodi Meadows
- Okay, guys. I think y'all know how much I adored this series. And, honestly, I think this is one of, if not THE best series enders I've ever read. I cried and smiled and hugged the book A LOT afterwards. This was exactly what I hoped for, even if I didn't know it. Read this series, you guys. You will not regret it.

4. The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
- Well, Melina Marchetta. Way to break my soul again! This book was painful to read, in the best possible way. I can't praise her enough, and The Piper's Son is one of her best books.

3. Silver Shadows (Bloodlines #5) by Richelle Mead
2. Sinner (Wolves of Mercy Falls #4) by Maggie Stiefvater
- I don't know what words I could possibly use that would do justice to this book. Just read it guys. It is phenomenal, gut-wrenching, and so powerful. I feel hopeful just thinking about it.
1. Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang
- I always look for those books that are impacting. That are dark and difficult and powerful and moving. And Falling Into Place was one of those books. I felt like I couldn't breathe at points. I sobbed, literally sobbed, when it was all over. I was just so affected by this book. I knew I would love this one, but I had no idea that it would burn itself into my memory and jump onto the list of best books I've ever read. If you haven't read this one, you need to. It is beautiful.

What were your favourite books of 2014? Did you read any on my list?

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)