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Top 10 of 2016: Best Contemporaries of 2016 + #Giveaway

Welcome to Day Three of the Top 10 of 2016

A WEEK OF LOOKING BACK…

…AND LOOKING FORWARD

As mentioned previously…

I can’t believe that I’ve been co-hosting this event for six years with Jaime of Two Chicks on Books and three years with Nancy of Tales of the Ravenous Reader! And while I’m so sad that Mindy won’t be joining us this year, I’m thrilled that Bridget of Dark Faerie Tales has joined the team, as has Nancy’s blog partner, Christy.

I haven’t read a ton of books this year, or blogged very much, so I almost decided not to participate. But this event is so much fun that I just couldn’t miss out.

If you haven’t yet heard of the Top 10 of 2016 week-long event, in a nutshell it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours over the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

Yet again, we’re each hosting our own giveaways on four of the five days of this challenge – We’re taking Day One off, Dark Faerie Tales is hosting Day Two’s giveaway, I’m hosting today’s Day Three’s giveaway, Two Chicks on Books is hosting Day Four’s giveaway, and Tales of the Ravenous Reader is hosting Day Five’s giveaway. So be sure to visit each of our blogs this week to share your post links and enter the giveaways!

The Best Book _____ of 2016

And my choice of topics is CONTEMPORARIES… contemporary fiction, contemporary romance, contemporary thrillers, contemporary mysteries.

These books made me cry, made me laugh, made me guess and guess again, made me desperate for the next installment in the series, made me smile, surprised me, distracted me, made me want to read them again and again and again…and again.


#1

TheWayIUsedtoBe
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Title: THE WAY I USED TO BE
Author: Amber Smith
Release date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 384
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Description…

Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.

What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.

Told in four parts—freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year—this provocative debut reveals the deep cuts of trauma. But it also demonstrates one young woman’s strength as she navigates the disappointment and unbearable pains of adolescence, of first love and first heartbreak, of friendships broken and rebuilt, and while learning to embrace a power of survival she never knew she had hidden within her heart.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


#2

Exit Pursued by a Bear_Cover

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Title: EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR
Author: E.K. Johnston
Release date: March 15, 2016
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Pages: 256
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Description…

Veronica Mars meets William Shakespeare in E.K. Johnston’s latest brave and unforgettable heroine.

Hermione Winters is captain of her cheerleading team, and in tiny Palermo Heights, this doesn’t mean what you think it means. At PHHS, the cheerleaders don’t cheer for the sports teams; they are the sports team—the pride and joy of a tiny town. The team’s summer training camp is Hermione’s last and marks the beginning of the end of…she’s not sure what. She does know this season could make her a legend. But during a camp party, someone slips something in her drink. And it all goes black.

In every class, there’s a star cheerleader and a pariah pregnant girl. They’re never supposed to be the same person. Hermione struggles to regain the control she’s always had and faces a wrenching decision about how to move on. The assault wasn’t the beginning of Hermione Winter’s story and she’s not going to let it be the end. She won’t be anyone’s cautionary tale.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


#3

Symptoms of Being Human Cover

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Title: SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN
Author: Jeff Garvin
Release date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 352
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Description…

Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. But Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in über-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s life.

On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s really like to be a gender fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. And Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.

From debut author Jeff Garvin comes a powerful and uplifting portrait of a modern teen struggling with high school, relationships, and what it means to be a person.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


#4

LBDLWL cover

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Title: LITTLE BLACK DRESSES, LITTLE WHITE LIES
Author: Laura Stampler
Release date: July 19, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 352
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description…

The Devil Wears Prada meets Sex and the City in a wickedly funny debut novel about a girl who lands a dream internship at a magazine in New York City. If only she hadn’t lied about being a dating expert on her resume . .

Harper Anderson has always thought she should have been born somewhere more glamorous than her sleepy Northern California suburb. After all, how many water polo matches and lame parties in Bobby McKittrick’s backyard can one girl take?

Already resigned to working at a Skinny B’s Juice Press for the summer, Harper is shocked when the ultra-prestigious teen magazine, Shift, calls to say they want her to be their teen dating blogger for the summer. All she needs to do is get her butt to New York in two days.

There’s just one teeny, tiny problem: Apart from some dance floor make-outs, Harper doesn’t have a whole lot of dating experience. So when Shift’s application asked for an “edgy” personal essay, Harper might have misappropriated her best friend’s experiences for her own. But she can just learn on the job…right? Will the house of lies Harper has built around her dream job collapse all around her, or will she be able to fake it until she makes it in the big city?

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


#5

A Totally Awkward Love Story

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Title: A TOTALLY AWKWARD LOVE STORY
Authors: Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
Release date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 320
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Description…

For fans of The DUFF, this hilarious and true-to-teen romance is Broad City meets Judy Blume.

The summer before college, Hannah swears she’s finally going to find The One. And for five perfect minutes, Hannah does find him. He’s cute and makes her laugh like crazy. She just wishes she’d caught his name, because Toilet Boy Cinderella really lacks sex appeal.

For Sam, the summer is off to a bad start for a million reasons. But for five minutes his luck changes: in a fancy restroom painted purple like it belongs in a Bond villain hideaway, Sam falls head over heels for some strange and hilarious girl. Of course, he doesn’t know her name. With his luck, he’ll never see her again, and he’ll remain a girlfriendless, moony-eyed virgin. Forever.

But another chance meeting brings them together, only to have a chance misunderstanding drive them apart . . . and then the cycle starts all over again. Madcap mishaps, raunchy hilarity, and deep romance follow these two wherever they go. For two people so clearly destined for each other, they sure have a hell of a lot of trouble even getting together.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


#6

In_Real_Life_Cover

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Title: IN REAL LIFE
Author: Jessica Love
Release date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Pages: 240
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description…

Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

There’s just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she’s supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Las Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.

Hannah’s surprise romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and finds out that Nick has been keeping some major secrets. Hannah knows the real Nick can’t be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


#7

the-amateurs

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Title & Series: THE AMATEURS (The Amateurs #1)
Author: Sara Shepard
Release date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Freeform
Pages: 320
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Description…

I need some answers about my sister. Help…

Five years ago, high school senior Helena Kelly disappeared from her backyard in Dexby, Connecticut, never to be heard from again. Her family was left without any answers—without any idea who killed Helena, or why.

So when eighteen-year-old Seneca Frazier sees a desperate post on the Case Not Closed message board, she knows it’s time to change that. Helena’s high-profile disappearance is the one that originally got Seneca addicted to true crime. It’s the reason she’s a member of the site in the first place.

Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, she agrees to spend spring break in Connecticut working on the case with Maddy Wright, her best friend from Case Not Closed. However, the moment she steps off the train, things start to go wrong. Maddy’s nothing like she expected, and Helena’s sister, Aerin, doesn’t seem to want any help after all. Plus, Seneca has a secret of her own, one that could derail the investigation if she’s not careful.

Alongside Brett, another super-user from the site, they slowly begin to unravel the secrets Helena kept in the weeks before her disappearance. But the killer is watching…and determined to make sure the case stays cold.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


#8

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Title & Series: UNRIVALED (Beautiful Idols #1)
Author: Alyson Noēl
Release date: May 10, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Description…

Everyone wants to be someone.

Layla Harrison wants to leave her beach-bum days for digs behind a reporter’s desk. Aster Amirpour wants to scream at the next casting director who tells her “we need ethnic but not your kind of ethnic.” Tommy Phillips dreams of buying a twelve-string guitar and using it to shred his way back into his famous absentee dad’s life.

But Madison Brooks took destiny and made it her bitch a long time ago.

She’s Hollywood’s hottest starlet, and the things she did to become the name on everyone’s lips are merely a stain on the pavement, ground beneath her Louboutin heel.

That is, until Layla, Aster, and Tommy find themselves with a VIP invite to the glamorous and gritty world of Los Angeles’s nightlife and lured into a high-stakes competition where Madison Brooks is the target. Just as their hopes begin to gleam like stars through the California smog, Madison Brooks goes missing. . . . And all of their hopes are blacked out in the haze of their lies.

Unrivaled is #1 New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noël’s first book in a thrilling suspense trilogy about how our most desperate dreams can become our darkest nightmares.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


#9

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Title & Series: WITH MALICE
Author: Eileen Cook
Release date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 320
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Description…

It was the perfect trip…until it wasn’t.

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident.

As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened? Questioning who she can trust and what she’s capable of, Jill desperately tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


#10

How to Disappear

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Title: HOW TO DISAPPEAR
Author: Ann Redisch Stampler
Release date: June 14, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 416
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description…

This electric cross-country thriller follows the game of cat and mouse between a girl on the run from a murder she witnessed—or committed?—and the boy who’s sent to kill her.

Nicolette Holland is the girl everyone likes. Up for adventure. Loyal to a fault. And she’s pretty sure she can get away with anything…until a young woman is brutally murdered in the woods near Nicolette’s house. Which is why she has to disappear.

Jack Manx has always been the stand-up guy with the killer last name. But straight A’s and athletic trophies can’t make people forget that his father was a hit man and his brother is doing time for armed assault. Just when Jack is about to graduate from his Las Vegas high school and head east for college, his brother pulls him into the family business with inescapable instructions: find this ruthless Nicolette Holland and get rid of her. Or else Jack and everyone he loves will pay the price.

As Nicolette and Jack race to outsmart each other, tensions—and attractions—run high. Told in alternating voices, this tightly plotted mystery and tense love story challenges our assumptions about right and wrong, guilt and innocence, truth and lies.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


The Honorable Mention

I haven’t been doing honorable mentions this year because I read so few books in 2016. But I just couldn’t leave THE HATERS out. It was so freaking hilarious…

Acr297196509774415983

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Title: THE HATERS
Author: Jesse Andrews
Release date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 336
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

Description…

From Jesse Andrews, author of the New York Times bestselling Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and screenwriter of the Sundance award–winning motion picture of the same name, comes a groundbreaking young adult novel about music, love, friendship, and freedom as three young musicians follow a quest to escape the law long enough to play the amazing show they hope (but also doubt) they have in them.

Inspired by the years he spent playing bass in a band himself, The Haters is Jesse Andrews’s road trip adventure about a trio of jazz-camp escapees who, against every realistic expectation, become a band.

For Wes and his best friend, Corey, jazz camp turns out to be lame. It’s pretty much all dudes talking in Jazz Voice. But then they jam with Ash, a charismatic girl with an unusual sound, and the three just click. It’s three and a half hours of pure musical magic, and Ash makes a decision: They need to hit the road. Because the road, not summer camp, is where bands get good. Before Wes and Corey know it, they’re in Ash’s SUV heading south, and The Haters Summer of Hate Tour has begun.

In his second novel, Andrews again brings his brilliant and distinctive voice to YA, in the perfect book for music lovers, fans of The Commitments and High Fidelity, or anyone who has ever loved—and hated—a song or a band. This witty, funny coming-of-age novel is contemporary fiction at its best.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


The Giveaway


I’m giving away…

TWO of any of the hosts Top 10 of 2016 book picks to ONE winner – up to $50 USD

  • Must be 13 or older to enter
  • Giveaway is International to anywhere The Book Depository ships
  • Books will be sent from Amazon (US) or The Book Depository (Int’l)
  • Winner will be contacted by email and announced in the Rafflecopter
  • Winner has 72 hours after email notification to respond or another winner will be chosen
  • Giveaway ends on January 8th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific

There are no requirements to like or follow, but it is appreciated.

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Link up

Leave a link to your Best _____ in 2016 posts in the Linky List below…




Top 10 of 2016: Best Books I’ve Read in 2016

Welcome to Day One of the Top 10 of 2016

A WEEK OF LOOKING BACK…

…AND LOOKING FORWARD

I can’t believe that I’ve been co-hosting this event for six years with Jaime of Two Chicks on Books and three years with Nancy of Tales of the Ravenous Reader! And while I’m so sad that Mindy won’t be joining us this year, I’m thrilled that Bridget of Dark Faerie Tales has joined the team, as has Nancy’s blog partner, Christy.

I haven’t read a ton of books this year, or blogged very much, so I almost decided not to participate. But this event is so much fun that I just couldn’t miss out.

If you haven’t yet heard of the Top 10 of 2016 week-long event, in a nutshell it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours over the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

Yet again, we’re each hosting our own giveaways on four of the five days of this challenge – We’re taking Day One off, Dark Faerie Tales is hosting Day Two’s giveaway, I’ll be hosting Day Three’s giveaway, Two Chicks on Books is hosting Day Four’s giveaway, and Tales of the Ravenous Reader is hosting Day Five’s giveaway. So be sure to visit each of our blogs this week to share your post links and enter the giveaways!

The Best Books I’ve Read in 2016

While I haven’t read nearly as many books this year as last year – I still have so many, many must read books to read – I have read some pretty amazing books. And while choosing just ten was not at all easy, it was even harder figuring out the order…

#1

An ending that will kill you….

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Title & Series: ARCANA RISING (The Arcana Chronicles #4)
Author: Kresley Cole
Release date: August 15, 2016
Publisher: Valkyrie Press
Pages: 280
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

Description…

Losses mount and deadly new threats converge in this next action-packed tale of the Arcana Chronicles by #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole.

When the battle is done . . . 
The Emperor unleashes hell and annihilates an army, jeopardizing the future of mankind–but Circe strikes back. The epic clash between them devastates the Arcana world and nearly kills Evie, separating her from her allies.

And all hope is lost . . . 
With Aric missing and no sign that Jack and Selena escaped Richter’s reach, Evie turns more and more to the darkness lurking inside her. Two Arcana emerge as game changers: one who could be her salvation, the other her worst nightmare.

Vengeance becomes everything.
To take on Richter, Evie must reunite with Death and mend their broken bond. But as she learns more about her role in the future–and her chilling past–will she become a monster like the Emperor? Or can Evie and her allies rise up from Richter’s ashes, stronger than ever before?

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


#2

A kick-a** read with an amazing quest…

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Title: NIGHTINGALE, SING
Author: Karsten Knight
Release date: February 23, 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pages: 288
Formats: Paperback, eBook

Description…

To cure her dying sister, Sabra Tides must race to solve a web of riddles and find a mythical flower, while a ruthless gangster will stop at nothing to get there first. This powerful YA thriller is perfect for fans of The Raven Boys, Six of Crows, and The Conspiracy of Us.
*******
A STREETWISE VIGILANTE
who will do anything to cure her dying sister

A RUTHLESS GANGSTER
on a grisly quest to attain immortality

A DESPERATE FATHER
who crossed oceans to free his enslaved son

A TRAIL OF RIDDLES
and the mythical treasure they all seek:

THE SERENGETI SAPPHIRE

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOKS-A-MILLION | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


#3

An awesome, nail-biting, fast-paced and unputdownable sequel…

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Title & Series: THE FLAME NEVER DIES (The Stars Never Rise #2)
Author: Rachel Vincent
Release date: August 16, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 352
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description…

One spark will rise.

Nina Kane was born to be an exorcist. And since uncovering the horrifying truth—that the war against demons is far from over—seventeen-year-old Nina and her pregnant younger sister, Mellie, have been on the run, incinerating the remains of the demon horde as they go.

In the badlands, Nina, Mellie, and Finn, the fugitive and rogue exorcist who saved her life, find allies in a group of freedom fighters. They also face a new threat: Pandemonia, a city full of demons. But this fresh new hell is the least of Nina’s worries. The well of souls ran dry more than a century ago, drained by the demons secretly living among humans, and without a donor soul, Mellie’s child will die within hours of its birth.

Nina isn’t about to let that happen…even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


#4

An original, dark and bloody good first installment…

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Title & Series: VIAL THINGS (Resurrectionist #1)
Author: Leah Clifford
Release date: August 9, 2016
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: 221
Formats: eBook

Description…

When the resurrectionists of Fissure’s Whipp begin disappearing, eighteen-year-old Allie knows someone is after their blood—or, more accurately, the genetic mutation that allows their blood to heal wounds, save lives and even bring back the recently deceased.

Raised by her aunt after her parents’ deaths, Allie knows staying vigilant means staying alive. She’s trained her whole life to protect herself by any means necessary, from self defense classes to extensive weapons training in knives. Now, she’s gone so far as to befriend a homeless boy named Ploy who unknowingly trades a few nights a week on her couch in exchange for being a human tripwire to those hunting her.

But as Allie and Ploy’s feelings for each other grow, Allie realizes this time, she’ll need more than fighting skills and a sharp blade to beat a villain literally out for blood.

Protecting a girl he shouldn’t love, from a threat he understands too well, Ploy must face his past to save his future in Allie’s world—a world where bringing back the dead can cost you your life.

AMAZON | GOODREADS


#5

An enchanting and magical read…

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Title & Series: REIGN OF SHADOWS (Reign of Shadows #1)
Author: Sophie Jordan
Release date: February 9, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 304
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Description…

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


#6

A heartbreaking and epic adventure…

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Title: HEARTLESS
Author: Marissa Meyer
Release date: November 8, 2016
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 464
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Description…

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


#7

An emotional, heartbreaking and intense read…

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Title & Series: THE WAY I USED TO BE
Author: Amber Smith
Release date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 384
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Description…

In the tradition of Speak, this extraordinary debut novel shares the unforgettable story of a young woman as she struggles to find strength in the aftermath of an assault.

Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.

What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.

Told in four parts—freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year—this provocative debut reveals the deep cuts of trauma. But it also demonstrates one young woman’s strength as she navigates the disappointment and unbearable pains of adolescence, of first love and first heartbreak, of friendships broken and rebuilt, and while learning to embrace a power of survival she never knew she had hidden within her heart.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


#8

An imaginative, beautifully told and heartbreaking tale…

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Title & Series: ROSEBLOOD
Author: A.G. Howard
Release date: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

Description…

In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


#9

A breathtaking and emotional rollercoaster…

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Title & Series: THE ROSE & THE DAGGER (The Wrath and the Dawn #2)
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Release date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

Description…

The darker the sky, the brighter the stars.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.

Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.

The saga that began with The Wrath and the Dawn takes its final turn as Shahrzad risks everything to find her way back to her one true love again.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


#10

A spellbinding, romantic, pirate-in-the-making story…

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Title & Series: BLACKHEARTS (Blackhearts #1)
Author: Nicole Castroman
Release date: February 9, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 384
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description…

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There’s just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents’ deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she’s stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


And as I haven’t read all that many books in 2016 I’ve decided for the first time ever not to do an honorable mentions list… though there are so many that deserve it.


Link up

Leave a link to your Best Books I’ve Read in 2016 posts in the Linky List below…




Review: THE WAY I USED TO BE

TheWayIUsedtoBe
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Title: THE WAY I USED TO BE
Author: Amber Smith
Release date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 384
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Read an EXCERPT

Description…

Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.

What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.

Told in four parts—freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year—this provocative debut reveals the deep cuts of trauma. But it also demonstrates one young woman’s strength as she navigates the disappointment and unbearable pains of adolescence, of first love and first heartbreak, of friendships broken and rebuilt, and while learning to embrace a power of survival she never knew she had hidden within her heart.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | SIMON & SCHUSTER | GOODREADS

Note: This review is based on an ARC received from a publicity agency in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.


The Review

It’s not often that a book will affect you so strongly that you will dissolve into tears again and again, shake with rage at all the wrongs done to the character, ache with sadness for all they have lost, become so invested in the outcome that you’re tense with the anticipation of what will happen for the entire read, and be completely wrung out emotionally by the story’s end. Yet Amber Smith has managed to do all that with her debut and so much more.

THE WAY I USED TO BE is a brave, gripping, affecting, intense, breathless, if at times uncomfortable read. It challenges readers to bear witness to Eden’s attack and her transformation in the years following – her loss of innocence, her fear, her anger, her disassociation, her emptiness, her self-loathing. It takes readers to dark places, it makes them feel what Eden is going through, it helps them understand her reactions, her decisions, her pain.

Amber Smith did a phenomenal job of sharing Eden’s story, of creating a strong bond between readers and her character, of putting all that raw emotion on the page. From beginning to end this is an absolutely heartbreaking story. It isn’t easy. It’s upsetting. It’s unsettling. It’s ugly. But to have presented it any other way wouldn’t have felt honest.

This is not a story for all readers. It is difficult and sobering and distressing and demanding. The author did not tiptoe around Edy’s rape or its aftermath. But for those readers who are willing to take this journey with Edy, THE WAY I USED TO BE promises to be meaningful, significant, and truly unforgettable.

The Rating

06

Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.


About Amber Smith

Amber Smith

Amber Smith is a writer and artist who grew up in Buffalo, NY and now lives in Charlotte, NC with her two dogs. After graduating from art school with a BFA in Painting, she earned her MA in Art History. When she’s not writing, she is working as a curator and freelance art consultant. She has also written on the topics of art history and modern and contemporary art. The Way I Used to Be  is her first novel.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS


Top 10 of 2015: Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2016

Top10_horizontal

Welcome to Day Five of the Top 10 of 2105

A WEEK OF LOOKING BACK…

…AND LOOKING FORWARD

As I mentioned previously…

This is my fifth year co-hosting this event with Jaime of Two Chicks on Books, my fourth year co-hosting with Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, and my second year co-hosting with Nancy of Tales of a Ravenous Reader. Wow that’s a lot of years. But this event is so much fun, that I’m thrilled to be able to do it again in 2015.

If you haven’t yet heard of the Top 10 of 2015 week-long event, in a nutshell it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours over the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

Once again, we’re each hosting our own giveaways on four of the five days of this challenge – I’m hosting Day One’s giveaway, Two Chicks on Books is hosting Day Two’s giveaway, Tales of a Ravenous Reading is hosting Day Three’s giveaway, and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads is hosting today’s Day Four giveaway. So be sure to check in with each of our blogs this week.


Books I Can’t Wait For

Today’s topic is…

Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2016

I am looking forward to so many books in the coming year – so many continuing series and so many new releases. And so, as to be fair to all those new releases (as I tend to favor continuing series because I’m already invested), I’m doing two top 10 lists – one for continuing series and one for new standalones and series books.

And of course I couldn’t resist including a few honorable mentions for some of the many continuing series I am desperately eager to read in 2016.


Top Ten Continuing Series Books

#1

TheFlameNeverDiesTHE FLAME NEVER DIES (The Stars Never Rise #2) by Rachel Vincent

Release date: August 16, 2016

Find it: Goodreads

Description…

ONE SPARK WILL RISE. Nina Kane was born to be an exorcist. And since uncovering the horrifying truth—that the war against demons is far from over—seventeen-year-old Nina and her pregnant younger sister, Mellie, have been on the run, incinerating the remains of the demon horde as they go.

In the badlands, Nina, Mellie, and Finn, the fugitive and rogue exorcist who saved her life, find allies in a group of freedom fighters. They also face a new threat: Pandemonia, a city full of demons. But this fresh new hell is the least of Nina’s worries. The well of souls ran dry more than a century ago, drained by the demons secretly living among humans, and without a donor soul, Mellie’s child will die within hours of its birth.

Nina isn’t about to let that happen . . . even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.


#2

UNTITLED (The Arcana Chronicles #4) by Kresley Cole

Release date: May 31, 2016

Find it: Goodreads


#3

MASQUERADE (Menagerie #2) by Rachel Vincent

Release date: Fall 2016

Find it: Goodreads


#4

A Tourch Against the NightA TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT (An Ember in the Ashes #2) by Sabaa Tahir

Release date: August 30, 2016

Find it: Goodreads

Description…

A Torch Against the Night takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.

In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission to prove herself—a mission that might destroy her, instead.


#5

TheWinnersKissTHE WINNER’S KISS (The Winner’s Trilogy #3) by Marie Rutkoski

Release date: March 29, 2016

Find it: Goodreads

Description…

War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it, with the East as his ally and the empire as his enemy. He’s finally managed to dismiss the memory of Kestrel, even if he can’t quite forget her. Kestrel turned into someone he could no longer recognize: someone who cared more for the empire than for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she cared for him. At least, that’s what he thinks.

But far north lies a work camp where Kestrel is a prisoner. Can she manage to escape before she loses herself? As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover unexpected roles in battle, terrible secrets, and a fragile hope. The world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and Kestrel and Arin are caught between. In a game like this, can anybody really win?


#6

The King SlayerTHE KING SLAYER (The Witch Hunter #2) by Virginia Boecker

Release date: June 14, 2016

Find it: Goodreads

Magic, suspense, and political intrigue collide in this sequel to The Witch Hunter, perfect for fans of Graceling and the Grisha Trilogy.

Former witch hunter Elizabeth Grey is hiding within the magically protected village of Harrow, evading the price put on her head by Lord Blackwell, the usurper king of Anglia. Their last encounter left Blackwell ruined, but his thirst for power grows stronger every day. He’s readying for a war against those who would resist his rule–namely Elizabeth and the witches, wizards, pirates, and healers she now calls her friends.

Having lost her stigma, a magical source of protection and healing, Elizabeth’s strength is tested both physically and emotionally. War always means sacrifice, and as the lines between good and evil blur once more, Elizabeth must decide just how far she’ll go to save those she loves.

In this sequel to The Witch Hunter, Virginia Boecker delivers a powerful story full of action, suspense, camaraderie, and romance.


#7

Glass SwordGLASS SWORD (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard

Release date: February 9, 2016

Find it: Goodreads

Description…

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?


#8

UNTITLED (Firebird #3) by Claudia Gray

Release date: 2016

Find it: Goodreads


#9

CROOKED KINGDOM (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Release date: September 22, 2016

Find it: Goodreads


#10

TRAITOR’S PYRE (The Worldwalker Trilogy #3) by Josephine Angelini

Release date:

Find it: Goodreads


The Honorable Mentions
  • FROST LIKE NIGHT (Snow Like Ashes #3) by Sara Raasch – Goodreads
  • ENDURE (Defy #3) by Sara B. Larson – Goodreads
  • UNTITLED (The Young Elites #3) by Marie Lu – Goodreads
  • THE ROSE AND THE DAGGER (The Wrath and the Dawn #2) by Renee Ahdieh – Goodreads
  • THE RULE OF MIRRORS (The Vault of Dreamers #2) by Caragh M. O’Brien – Goodreads
  • CLANLESS (Nameless #2) by Jennifer Jenkins – Goodreads

Top Ten New Releases

#1

BlackheartsCoverBLACKHEARTS by Nicole Castroman

Release date: February 9, 2016

Find it: Goodreads

Description…

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There’s just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents’ deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she’s stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.


#2

And I DarkenAND I DARKEN (The Conquerors Saga #1) by Kiersten White

Release date: June 28, 2016

Find it: Goodreads

Description…

NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.


#3

PassengerCoverPASSENGER (Passenger #1) by Alexandra Bracken

Release date: January 5, 2016

Find it: Goodreads

Description…

passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.


#4

Salt to the SeaSALT TO THE SEA by Ruta Sepetys

Release date: February 2, 2016

Find it: Goodreads

Description…

The author of Between Shades of Gray returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war’s most devastating—yet unknown—tragedies.

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.


#5

Reign of Shadows CoverREIGN OF SHADOWS (Reign of Shadows #1) by Sophie Jordan

Release date: February 9, 2016

Find it: Goodreads

Description…

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.


#6

Sword and Verse CoverSWORD AND VERSE by Kathy MacMillan

Release date: January 19, 2016

Find it: Goodreads

Description…

Raisa was just a child when she was sold to work as a slave in the kingdom of Qilara. Despite her young age, her father was teaching her to read and write, grooming her to take his place as a Learned One. In Qilara, the Arnathim, like Raisa, are the lowest class, and literacy is a capital offense. What’s more, only the king, prince, tutor, and tutor-in-training are allowed to learn the very highest order language, the language of the gods. So when the tutor-in-training is executed for teaching slaves this sacred language, and Raisa is selected to replace her, Raisa knows any slipup on her part could mean death.

Keeping her secret is hard enough, but the romance that’s been growing between her and Prince Mati isn’t helping matters. Then Raisa is approached by the Resistance—an underground army of slave rebels—to help liberate Arnath slaves. She wants to free her people, but that would mean aiding a war against Mati. As Raisa struggles with what to do, she discovers a secret that the Qilarites have been hiding for centuries—one that, if uncovered, could bring the kingdom to its knees.


#7

Assassin's HeartASSASSIN’S HEART by Sarah Ahiers

Release date: February 2, 2016

Find it: Goodreads

Description…

In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

With shades of The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet, this richly imagined fantasy from debut author Sarah Ahiers is a story of love, lies, and the ultimate vengeance.


#8

Burning GlassBURNING GLASS by Kathryn Purdie

Release date: March 1, 2016

Find it: Goodreads

Description…

Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.

Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.

But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.

As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.

BURNING GLASS is debut author Kathryn Purdie’s stunning tale of dangerous magic, heart-rending romance, and the hard-won courage it takes to let go.


#9

The Crown's GameTHE CROWN’S GAME (The Crown’s Game #1) by Evelyn Skye

Release date: May 17, 2016

Find it: Goodreads

Description…

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.


#10

The Way I Used to BeTHE WAY I USED TO BE by Amber Smith

Release date: March 22, 2016

Find it: Goodreads

Description…

In the tradition of Speak, this extraordinary debut novel shares the unforgettable story of a young woman as she struggles to find strength in the aftermath of an assault.

Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.

What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.

Told in four parts—freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year—this provocative debut reveals the deep cuts of trauma. But it also demonstrates one young woman’s strength as she navigates the disappointment and unbearable pains of adolescence, of first love and first heartbreak, of friendships broken and rebuilt, and while learning to embrace a power of survival she never knew she had hidden within her heart.


So, those are the books I’m most looking forward to in 2016. What are yours?

Leave a link to your Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2016 posts in the Linky List below…




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