Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September, 1st 2015
Source: ARC Received from Publisher in Exchange for an Honest Review
  My Rating: 4/5

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster. (Summary from Goodreads)

I have this really weird tendency to put off reading books I know I'm going to love. It's like I'm prepping myself to fall in love with them. It's the reason I haven't read some of my most anticipated books and the reason it took me forever to pick up Everything, Everything. I wish I had picked it up sooner though, because this book was just wonderful.

I definitely haven't read anything like this book before. Maddie's stark, colourless world was so jarring. Even though I knew the basic plot, for some reason I didn't expect how intense it would be. Maddie's harsh reality never seemed to deter her, and it was so interesting getting to read about her life.

Sometimes, I really questioned Maddie's choices. I was so worried for her and didn't understand why she was taking these risks. But, I reminded myself to take a step back. Because there is no way I could ever understand. I couldn't imagine living my life inside the same four walls everyday, never venturing outside or meeting new people. It made perfect sense that Maddie would be willing to take risks after living that way for so long. I loved watching her grow, and ached thinking off all the things she was missing out on. But I was also so blown away by the incredible person she was. Optimistic and caring, smart and hopeful, Maddie was everything I could have hoped for in a protagonist.

And then there was Ollie. What a thoughtful, loving, sweetheart. There was so much going on with him, and I enjoyed getting to know him. I loved watching their relationship develop online, watching them share and learn and grow together the only way they could.  Ollie didn't always agree with Maddie's choices, but he always let her make them The fact that he supported her and her right to live her own life, to make her own decisions was so incredibly important. Honestly, it made me so happy I wanted to hug the book.

I wish I had savored this book just a little bit more. I have a tendency to rush through books with short chapters and/or pictures etc. and don't take enough time to read every word on the page. Near the end though, I told myself to slow down and soak up every last word. And they were beautiful, inspiring words. This book reminded me how precious life is, and encouraged me to really live it. It made me want to run outside and experience the world. It reminded me how much their is to life, and how colorful and beautiful it can be. That's really what I love about books like Everything, Everything. They offer a glimpse into a world outside your own and fill you with inspiration.

The only reason this isn't a five star book for me is that I'm still unsure about the ending. I don't talk about spoilers on the blog, so I'll just say it was both exactly what I expected and nothing at all like I expected. Take that however you like!

Everything, Everything was just as wonderful as everyone said it was. I really think this is a book I will read again and again. It was beautifully written, wonderfully crafted, and filled to the brim with life. Read this book. You won't regret it.

Find This Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo | Goodreads | Nicola Yoon's Website 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Review: The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine

Title: The Impostor Queen
Series: The Impostor Queen (#1)
Author: Sarah Fine
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: January 5th 2016
Source: ARC Received from Publisher in Exchange for an Honest Review

My Rating: 4/5

Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by magical priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, the home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between the love she has for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed. (Summary from Goodreads)

I'm not a big fantasy reader, I should say that up front. I'm usually drawn to contemporary books or more urban fantasy settings. But, when I read the description for The Impostor Queen, it really stood out for me. The hero of this story, the future queen, is an impostor? She's not really the 'chosen one'? Definitely not something you read everyday. Even with the unique concept, I kept expecting this book to fall into a typical fantasy plot line but it never did. It surpassed all my expectations and reminded me just how rich and wonderful high fantasy books can be.  

The pacing of the novel was a little back and forth. It started off slow, then really picked up and then slowed back down again. But, I didn't mind. I was invested in this story and was happy to be tugged along at whatever pace it went. I know this might be an issue for some people but seriously, it's worth the back and forth. This book is just so interesting. As I don't like to talk about any spoilers on the blog, I won't go into details about the plot. But I will say that I loved it. The magic and mystery, the folklore and fantasy all tied together into this intricate plot line that had me entranced. 

As I said earlier, I don't read high fantasy very often and I forgot just how long it takes me to read. It has nothing to do with the book itself, but the world-building as a whole always takes my brain so long to digest. But, once I was immersed in this world I didn't want to leave it. I kept thinking about the plot and the characters and couldn't wait to dive back in. I named this blog after those reads that keep you up past midnight, and this was definitely one of them. I kept telling myself "just one more chapter!" until I looked at the clock and realized I should have been in bed hours ago. 

It took me a little while to warm up to Elli, I won't lie. Although I adored how inquisitive and curious she was, I wasn't really sure what to make of her. She was so sheltered at first and it was intriguing to watch her grow into this powerful woman. She was determined and strong, always wanting her earn her place and fit herself into this new world. By the end of the novel, I wanted to reach in and give her a high-five. She was just such a great character.

Then, there's Oskar. Strong, quiet, courageous Oskar. I knew as soon as he appeared on the page I was going to love him. There are so many incredible things about Oskar, and about his relationship with both Elli and his family. But, the biggest reason I adored Oskar is because of his belief in Elli. He supported her, trusted her, and encouraged her. He believed in her even when she doubted herself. And THAT is something I love to see in a relationship. Seriously, I cannot wait to see where Oskar and Elli go in the next installment!

The other character I'll touch on is Sig. I found Sig to be such a fascinating character. I never knew what he was going to do, or whose side he was truly on. He was charismatic, but also villainous and I was glued to the page whenever he was on it. Characters who straddle the line between good and bad are always my favourites. And, as much as the things Sig did made me angry, he was definitely a stand out character to me.

I'm going to be anxiously awaiting the sequel to this one. Seriously, I would like to have the book in my hands as soon as humanly possible because I'm not ready to be out of this world. It's been a long time that I was THIS excited about a series and I really hope we get more soon. Check out The Impostor Queen! It's a fantasy not to be missed!

- Ciara (at Midnight)

Find This Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo | Goodreads | Sarah Fine's Website 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday (80): Riders by Veronica Rossi

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!

This Week's Pick: Riders (Riders #1) by Veronica Rossi
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: February 16th 2016

For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can't remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen--Conquest, Famine, and Death--are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now--bound, bloodied, and drugged--Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he's fallen for--not to mention all of humankind--he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.

But will anyone believe him? (Summary from Goodreads)

Last year, I marathoned the final two books in the Under the Never Sky trilogy in a weekend. I adored Aria and Perry and the entire world Veronica Rossi created. That series put her on my autobuy list. Even if she wasn't, I'm a sucker for stuff on the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. And Riders sounds right up my alley. I can't wait to get it in just a few short weeks!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)  

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (21): Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant to Get To But Didn't

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:


All of them. 


Okay, maybe not all of them, but definitely a lot less than I hoped to. I bought a lot of 2015 releases, but reading was a bit struggle for me this year. I'm hoping this year will be better (although I'm writing this five days into 2016 and still haven't read a book, so who knows) and I'll be able to catch up on some books I missed.

1) The Stars Never Rise (The Stars Never Rise #1) by Rachel Vincent
- Rachel Vincent has been one of my favourite authors for a very long time. I was so excited to see she was returning to YA...and then I never got a chance to read it. THIS YEAR THOUGH.

2) Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten
- I got this as an ARC last year, and it sounds like a book right up my ally. I fell SO BEHIND on reading last year, I'm still struggling to catch up. But I'll definitely be prioritizing this one.
3) Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry
- I still can't believe I haven't read the new Katie McGarry book! I kept putting it off cause I knew once I started I would never be able to stop...and then I just never got to it. Will be fixed this year!
4) Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard
- I've heard so many amazing things about this one! I want to see what all the hype is about.
5) Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul 
- Okay, toxic friendship books are my JAM. (If you're reading this and have toxic friendship novel recommendations, pass them my way PLEASE). I know I'm going to love this book. I can't wait.

6) The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh 
- I went out and bought this in hardcover because I heard so many great things. Time to get reading!

7) Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa
- One of my most anticipated reads last year, and I just didn't have time to get to it. I'm super excited to pick it up this year.

8) Sweet Temptation (Sweet #4) by Wendy Higgins
- I adore the Sweet series so much. I know I'm going to love reading from Kai's perspective.
9) My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
- I've avoided reading this one because I know it'll break me. But I also know I'll love it. SO. Let's go 2016.

10) Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
- Western! Kick-ass girls! An awesome cover! 2016 will be the year I read you! 

There's so many more I hope to get to this year! What are some 2015 books you missed out on?

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)    

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday (79): Take The Fall by Emily Hainsworth

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!

This Week's Pick: Take The Fall by Emily Hainsworth
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: February 16th 2016


Fear grips the residents of Hidden Falls the night Sonia Feldman and her best friend, Gretchen Meyer, are attacked in the woods. Sonia was lucky to escape with her life, but Gretchen’s body is discovered at the bottom of a waterfall. Beautiful, popular, and seemingly untouchable, Gretchen can’t be gone. Even as Sonia struggles with guilt and confusion over having survived, the whole town is looking to her for information…could she have seen something that will lead the police to the killer?

At the top of the list of suspects is Gretchen’s ex-boyfriend—and Sonia’s longtime enemy—Marcus Perez. So when Marcus comes to Sonia for help clearing his name, she agrees, hoping to find evidence the police need to prove he’s the killer. But as Gretchen’s many secrets emerge and the suspects add up, Sonia feels less sure of Marcus’s involvement, and more afraid for herself. Could Marcus, the artist, the screwup, the boy she might be falling for have attacked her? Killed her best friend? And if it wasn’t him in the woods that night…who could it have been? (Summary from Goodreads)

I'm loving all the mystery/thriller books that have been coming out recently! It's one of those genres I always thought was lacking in YA and I'm excited to see it expanding. Although I have yet to read Through to You, I know Emily Hainsworth is going to be an author I adore. I'm really excited to grab a copy of Take the Fall when it comes out in February!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnght) 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (20): Top Ten Series I Resolve to Finish 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 is Top Ten Resolutions! I've never been good at resolutions. They're also highly personal and, like, I'm not good with personal. SO. INSTEAD! I decided to take one of the prompts and do...


Well, there's a little more than ten because I'm TERRIBLE at ending series. I get really emotional and can't bear to see them end and so I avoid the finales at all costs. The problem? Then it gets to years down the line and I can't remember what happened in the second last book. SO. This year, I'm hoping I finally get to those series I've had sitting on my shelf for ages. Here are some of them!

1) Women of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong (To Read: 13)
- This book has been out in 2012 and I STILL haven't read it. One of my all-time favourite adult fantasy series but man, I'm still not looking forward to it ending!

2) Soul Screamers by Rachel Vincent (To Read: With All My Soul)
- One of my favourite series by one of my favourite authors with one of my favourite book boyfriends....and I still haven't read the last book. 

3) Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine (To Read: Daylighters)
- Another series I can't believe I haven't finished year. I've been reading these books since 2009 (WUT) and I'll be heart broken that I don't have anymore left.
(EDIT: Apparently I've also been reading the Soul Screamers series since 2009. Man, I feel old). 
4) Jasper Dent by Barry Lyga (To Read: Game & Blood of My Blood)
- I adored I Hunt Killers and I know the rest of this series is probably amazing. I think it's the creepiness factor that's kept me from finishing, but I'll get to it this year!

5) Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout (To Read: Opposition
- I never thought I'd love these books as much as I did but now I'm so sad I only have one left (well, kind of two if you count Oblivion).

6) The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (To Read: Never Fade & In The Afterlight)
- I enjoyed the first book and now that the series is out in paperback, I'll be finishing this one up.

7) Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter (To Read: Only the Good Spy Young & Out of Sight, Out of Time & United We Spy)
- I've been reading this series lowly as to savor it. But, this year I really want to finish it up. And probably cry.
8) Burn for Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian (To Read: Fire with Fire & Ashes to Ashes)
- I read the first book as an ARC and just never continued. Finally got the third book for Christmas, so I'll be finishing it up soon.

9) Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (To Read: Days of Blood and Starlight & Dreams of Gods and Monsters)
- Another series I can't believe I haven't read yet. Although I had some minor issue with the first book, I'm excited to see what the rest of the trilogy is like!

10) Gone by Michael Grant (To Read: Light)
- I've been reading this series since it came out and I bought this book day of. But I still haven't read it. And I really need to fix that.

11) Legend by Marie Lu (To Read: Prodigy & Champion)
- I really enjoyed Legend and I know I'm going to love the rest of the series. I just need to sit down and read them!

12) The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare (To Read: City of Heavenly Fire)
- This was my favourite series for a very long time. Although I still think it should have ended at book three, I'm interested to see how it all wraps up.
13) Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (To Read: Cress & Winter)
- I KNOW. I really need to catch up on this series. I own them all in their glorious hardcover-ness and I'm excited to finally see how it all ends.

So! What are your bookish resolutions for the year?

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Most Anticipated of 2016

Hello, everyone!

I'm writing this in 2015 but by the time you read it, we will be in a brand new year. New Years is always a weird time for me, as I'm sure it is for everyone. 2015 was definitely not one of my strongest years but I'm looking forward to a fresh start in 2016. And to NEW BOOKS! 2016 is looking like a really strong year with a lot of new faces and new series! I've left out a couple of ones I'm looking forward to but have yet to read the previous book (like A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab!) and I know I'm missing a bunch more. Here are some of my many anticipated reads for 2016!

5th:  Passenger (Passenger #1) - Alexandra Bracken
- This sounds so unique and enchanting and we only a few more days until we get to read this one!
5th:  Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) - Susan Dennard
- 2015-me is starting this tomorrow! SO EXCITED.
26th:  The Love That Split the World - Emily Henry
- Such an interesting concept and that cover! I have an ARC of this one and will be reading it very soon! 
2nd: Remembrance (Mediator #7) - Meg Cabot
- I'm going to weep from joy all through this book.
16th:  Take The Fall by Emily Hainsworth
- Suspense + a murder mystery! Yes please!

- I've heard AMAZING things about this one already!
16th: Riders (Riders #1) - Veronica Ross 
- I marathoned Veronica Rossi's Under the Never Sky trilogy this year and I can't wait to read more from her.
23rd: Amulet, Vol. 7: Firelight by Kazu Kibuish
- I adore Wendy Higgins! I'm also weirdly obsessed with stories about The Great Hunt so yup, definitely need this.
15th: Exit, Pursued by a Bear - E. K. Johnston
- I wasn't sure how much I wanted to read this one but the reviews so far have been phenomenal!
15th: The First Time She Drowned - Kerry Kletter
- I have an ARC of this one as well which I'm ridiculously pumped to dive into.

22nd: The Way I Used to Be - Amber Smith & Kevin Twomey
- The comparisons to Speak and the illustrations really sold me on this one.
22nd: This Is Where the World Ends - Amy Zhang
- Amy Zhang wrote my favourite book of 2014, so she's an auto-buy author. 

5th: Lumberjanes, Vol. 3 by Noelle Stevenson, et al.
- The Lumberjanes are mah gurls.
- New Richelle Mead. Enough said.
5th: When We Collided - Emery Lord
- I'm going to cry a lot reading this book, probably.
5th: Tell the Wind and Fire - Sarah Rees Brennan
- Sounds super intriguing.

- After the ending of The Orphan Queen, I need this book like air.
26th: The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian
- This cover is beautiful and this book sounds marvelous
26th: The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) - Maggie Stiefvater

3rd: The Unexpected Everything - Morgan Matson
- This cover is probably my favourite of any Morgan Matson books!
3rd: If I Was Your Girl - Meredith Russo
- Yes, more LGBTQIA lit! (Which my TBR has been seriously lacking).
 10th: Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
- It has the dang Starship Enterprise on the cover. What more could I ask for?

17th: Girls on Fire - Robin Wasserman
- This literally everything I've been asking for in a book. 
- Sounds like a really interesting fantasy!
27th: Some Kind of Happiness - Claire Legrand
- An MG book about depression. Gonna break my heart, basically.
31st: Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten
- I've heard a Gone Girl for YA comparison so yup, I'll be checking it out!
7th: With Malice - Eileen Cook
- Another thriller/mystery (I'm loving the sudden influx of these)!
7th: My Lady Jane - Cynthia Hand & Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows
- Have you seen this cover/the tag lines/the author list? NEED.
- I've been waiting for this book since Victoria Schwab tweeted about her monster book. I'm so so excited.

14th: Autofocus by Lauren Gibaldi
- I adored The Night We Said Yes so I'm really looking forward to Lauren Gibaldi's sophmore novel.
14th: Look Both Ways - Alison Cherry
- Isn't this cover just the cutest? Sounds like such a good one! 
28th: And I Darken (The Conquerors Saga #1) - Kiersten White (I *think* this might be a placeholder date but either way CAN'T WAIT!)
 - New Kiersten White is a GENDER SWAPPED VLAD THE IMPALER. *weeps with joy*

26th: P.S. I Like You - Kasie West
- A new Kasie West contemporary is always a must-read! 

6th: As I Descended - Robin Talley
- MacBeth at an all-girls boarding school? CAN I HAZ NOW PLEASE?
- This sounds mythical and magical and just what I love in books.

- I loved Walk On Earth a Stranger and can't wait for its follow up!
Shaming the Devil - Melina Marchetta

So! What are your most anticipated books of the year? Let me know in the comments!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)