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Ice Like Fire

    Top 10 of 2015: Best Book Covers of 2015

    Top10_horizontal

    Welcome to Day Two of the Top 10 of 2105

    A WEEK OF LOOKING BACK…

    …AND LOOKING FORWARD

    As I mentioned yesterday…

    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 today’s Day Two giveaway, Tales of a Ravenous Reading is hosting Day Three’s giveaway, and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads is hosting Day Four’s giveaway. So be sure to check in with each of our blogs this week.


    Best Book Covers of 2015

    Today’s topic is:

    Best Book Covers of 2015

    There were so many interesting and beautiful and eye-catching covers in 2015 I wish I could share them all. But I had to pick only ten of my favorites for purposes of this post. And while, for me, in the past it was often about the girls in gorgeous dresses, this year it is all about covers that are bold and graphic and different and stunning.

    #1

    IceLikeFireCover

    ICE LIKE FIRE by Sara Raasch – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS


    #2

    RedQueen HC C
    RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS


    #3

    SixofCrows

    SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS


    #4

    TheStarsNeverRise

    THE STARS NEVER RISE by Rachel Vincent – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS


    #5

    Ella Grey Cover Image

    A SONG FOR ELLA GREY by David Almond – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS


    #6

    GIRLMIDNIGHT_5_6

    THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT by Melissa Grey – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS


    #7

    Rook_hires_cover

    ROOK by Sharon Cameron – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS


    #8

    BlackWidowCover

    BLACK WIDOW: FOREVER RED by Margaret Stohl – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS


    #9

    Firewalker_cover

    FIREWALKER by Josephine Angelini – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS


    #10

    DeathMarked

    DEATH MARKED by Leah Cypess – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS


    Honorable Mentions

    For my honorable mentions I’ve opted to choose a few of my favorite covers for books I either haven’t yet read or haven’t yet reviewed.

    So those are my favorites. What are yours?


    Leave a link to your Best Book Covers of 2015 posts in the Linky List below…



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    Top 10 of 2015: Best Books I’ve Read in 2015 + Giveaway

    Top10_horizontal

    Welcome to Day One of the Top 10 of 2105

    A Week of Looking Back…

    …and Looking Forward

    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 today’s Day One 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 Day Four’s giveaway. So be sure to check in with each of our blogs this week.


    Best Books I’ve Read in 2015

    Today’s topic is:

    BEST BOOKS I’VE READ IN 2015

    I’ve read so many seriously amazing books this year, that picking just ten was a dreadfully impossible task. I’m just glad I read THE STARS NEVER RISE by Rachel Vincent in 2014 or it would have made narrowing down my list that much more horrendous. It also didn’t help that I read more books this year than last, that I’ve been in an eclectic reading mood, and that there were just so many incredible books written.

    #1 MENAGERIE by Rachel Vincent – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s unique, it’s hard-hitting, the writing is beautiful, the story is phenomenal, the series potential has me desperate for the next installment.

    #2 DEAD OF WINTER by Kresley Cole – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because this series is an all-time favorite, because the ending is abso-freaking-lutely killer, because it’s dark and gorgeous and the waiting is exquisite torture.

    #3 SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because the story is epic, the world-building incredible, the writing gorgeous, the detail impeccable.

    #4 TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU by Claudia Gray – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because the writing is stunning, the world expansive and fascinating, the series riveting.

    #5 BRUTAL YOUTH by Anthony Breznican – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s dark and gritty and edgy and shocking and disturbing, the writing brilliant, the story unforgettable.

    #6 SCHISM by Jenna Black – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s complex and interesting and fascinating. The world is chilling and still amazing. The characters sympathetic and scary. The story compelling.

    #7 AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s thrilling and epic and gripping and unputdownable. The dual POV makes it edge-of-your-seat exciting.

    #8 THE ROSE SOCIETY by Marie Lu – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s so wicked and dark and wildly entertaining. It’s about villains. Nothing more needs to be said.

    #9 ROOK by Sharon Cameron – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s action-packed, nerve-wracking, suspenseful. There are twists and turns. There’s romance, betrayal and heartbreak. What’s not to love?

    #10 SALT & STONE by Victoria Scott – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s awesome and amazing and adorable and nail-biting. The characters are ones you can’t help but love, love, love. Though the possibility that there might not be a next book in the series is heartbreaking.


    Honorable Mentions

    I really wanted to limit honorable mentions to just five, but I couldn’t do it. Limiting it to 15 was hard enough as it was.

    So those are my favorite reads for 2015. What are yours?


    The Giveaway

    giveaway

    I’m offering up for giveaway…

    • Books of Your Choice (up to $30 US) open internationally to anywhere The Book Depository ships

    ***The giveaway is ONLY open to those participating in the Top 10 of 2015 event***

    • Must be 13 or older to enter
    • There will be ONE winner
    • Giveaway ends on December 31st at 11:59 PM Pacific
    • Giveaway is open ONLY to those participating in the Top 10 of 2015 event
    • Giveaway is open internationally to anywhere The Book Depository ships
    • Prize will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location
    • Winner will be chosen by and announced in the Rafflecopter
    • Winner will be contacted by email and have 72 hours to respond

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    Leave a link to your Best Books I’ve Read in 2015 posts in the Linky List below…



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    ICE LIKE FIRE Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

    IceLikeFireBanner

    I am so totally stoked to be today’s stop on the ICE LIKE FIRE Blog Tour. I am madly in love with this series though I’m not sure I’ll be able to survive the wait for the next book. I thought waiting for ICE LIKE FIRE was going to kill me. Somehow I made it. I’m not sure I’ll be so lucky this time.

    If you haven’t yet picked up your copy of ICE LIKE FIRE, what are you waiting for? It released this week and it’s so freaking awesome I just had to read it twice. So much happens in this book. Especially in the second half. It’s insane. And that ending? Killer.

    If you’d like to know a little bit more about what I thought, my review is below. If you want to know more about this series, details on both books are below. If you want the chance to win some awesome ICE LIKE FIRE swag, check out the giveaway and enter in the Rafflecopter.

    And if you’d like to visit the other stops on the tour to check out a few guest posts and interviews and to see what a few other bloggers have to say about ICE LIKE FIRE, the tour schedule with direct links to all the stops is at the bottom of the post.


    About ICE LIKE FIRE

    IceLikeFireCover

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: ICE LIKE FIRE (Snow Like Ashes #2)
    Author: Sara Raasch
    Release date: October 13, 2015
    Publisher: Balzer + Bray
    Pages: 496
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.

    Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?

    Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?

    As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS

    NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.


    The Review

    ICE LIKE FIRE is an epic and elaborate and richly imagined sequel. It delivers action, mystery, magic, suspense, heartbreak, betrayal. The world-building is incredible. Meticulous attention to detail is paid to every aspect of this story from its characters to its multiple settings to its plot development. It takes you on a journey through parts of the world not explored in the first book, it introduces potential allies and enemies, it alternates points of view, it varies its pace, it builds to a finish that is jaw-dropping.

    Meira had hoped the worst was behind her, that Winter would be able to take the time it needed to rebuild, to grow stronger. But their arrangement with Cordell put Winter in their debt, and forced the Winterians to risk their lives mining, searching for the chasm of magic whose location could be anywhere.

    Instead of its discovery being a relief, Meira worried about the access to unlimited power it would give Cordell. She worried about what that much magic would do to to her own people. She worried about what that much magic would do to her.

    Forced to decide whether to continue bowing to Cordell or to stand up and fight, Meira chose to fight. But she knew she didn’t stand much of a chance against Noam and his army if she had to fight alone. As hard as it was as Winter’s new Queen to even think about leaving her Season, for its safety, for its future, she was willing to take the risk and go in search of those who would be allies.

    Told mainly from Meira’s point of view, with the occasional chapter from Mather’s perspective, readers will get to visit some of the different Seasons and Rhythms, meet their leaders, see how they rule and how they treat their people. They’ll find out who, if anyone, is willing to stand with Winter against Cordell. They’ll get to embark upon a quest to find three hidden keys and to learn anything they can about a mysterious Order.

    Author Sara Raasch has written an absolutely spectacular follow-up to her first novel in this series. She delves deeper into the politics of being Queen of Winter, the conflict between the Seasons and the Rhythms, the issues with being a conduit for magic, human rights issues. She forces her characters to overcome obstacles, to question, to trust, to learn, to grow, to be willing to sacrifice, to choose, and to live with the consequences of their actions, their choices and their mistakes.

    The author takes the time to really build the world, to flesh it out. She paints a complete picture with each different locale that Meira visits. Everything is wonderfully detailed, allowing for a total immersion into the story. The pacing in the first half of the novel is largely unhurried, though the points of view switches create suspense and a sense of urgency, and in the latter half, the pace picks up and continues to accelerate until the story’s end, keeping things interesting and engaging and making for a nice change-up.

    ICE LIKE FIRE is gorgeous and compelling and positively riveting. This is no filler novel. It does not suffer from a sophomore slump. It builds upon the story. It expands the world. It advances the characters. It is so unbelievably well-written. It is amazing, exciting, breathtaking, surprising. It is an absolute must-, must-, must-read.

    The Rating

    05


    About Sara Raasch

    SaraRaasch

    Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a
    lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too.

    Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to
    draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures.

    Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, came out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray, and the sequel,
    ICE LIKE FIRE, comes out October 13, 2015. Neither features her hand-drawn pictures.

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    Other Books in the Series

    SnowLikeAshes

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: SNOW LIKE ASHES (Snow Like Ashes #1)
    Author: Sara Raasch
    Release date: October 14, 2014
    Publisher: Balzer + Bray
    Pages: 432
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

    Description…

    A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

    Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

    Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

    So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    The Giveaway

    ILFGiveaway

    There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

    • TWO (2) Winners will receive sets of ICE LIKE FIRE Trading Cards/Miniature Bookmarks

    ***Giveaway is International***

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    The Tour Schedule

    Week One

    Week Two

    HBRockstar

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Graphics

All content - except for guest posts and guest reviews - has been written by me and can not be copied or used without permission. All graphics and images used on my site – aside from book covers used for purposes of discussion – have either been given to me by authors, publishers or bloggers for guest posts, blog tours, interviews or promotion, have been sourced, have been designed by me or have been purchased for my exclusive use. Aside from images with a “grab code” beneath, no images can be used or displayed without permission.

FTC

All reviews on this website are unbiased and reviewers are in no way compensated for their reviews by the author, publisher, or any other agencies. While some reviews may be based on receipt of ARC copies of an authors work, a fair and impartial review is always given by the reviewer. Most of the reviews, however, are based upon books purchased after publication date.