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Marie Rutkoski

    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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    Top 10 of 2015: Best Book Boyfriends of 2015

    Top10_horizontal

    Welcome to Day Four 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.


    Best Book Boyfriends of 2015

    Today’s topic is…

    Best Book Boyfriends of 2015

    I’ve had such an eclectic reading year that I don’t have nearly as many book boyfriends as I’ve had in the past. Many of the books I’ve read and loved didn’t even have romance as part of the storyline. And I also know that due to the number of books I have read and loved this year I am forgetting a few of them – so sorry my lovely fic boys! But I did not prep this post well in advance, as I’d hoped to, and so I am certain I’m forgetting some of my favorites.

    I’m also losing a few due to the fact that they have to be from books read and released this year.

    Anyway… here they are.

    #1 Death

    …from DEAD OF WINTER by Kresley Cole

    Dead of Winter Cover

    #2 Gavin Garrison

    …from MISSING DIXIE by Caisey Quinn

    Missing_Dixie_Cover

    #3 Rune

    …from SWEET RUIN by Kresley Cole

    Sweet-Ruin-1

    #4 Paul Markov

    …from TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU by Claudia Gray

    Ten-Thousand-Skies

    #5 Kaz Brekker

    …from SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo

    SixofCrows

    #6 Elias

    …from AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir

    AN EMBER IN THE ASHES

    #7 Landon Lucas Maxfield

    …from SWEET by Tammara Webber

    Sweet_Cover

    #8 Grey Blackwood

    …from BOUNCE by Noelle August

    Bounce_Cover

    #9 Rowan

    …from FIREWALKER by Josephine Angelini

    Firewalker_cover

    #10 Enzo Valenciano

    …from THE ROSE SOCIETY by Marie Lu

    TheRoseSocietyCover


    The Honorable Mentions

    So, those are my boys. Who made your list?


    Link up your 2015 Best Book Boyfriends posts!



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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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    What’s Your Winner’s Curse Blog Tour + Giveaway

    WinnersCurse BlogTour

    I am so excited to be a part of the “What’s Your Winner’s Curse?” Blog Tour and to be able to help promote this amazing series by Author Marie Rutkoski. And I also can’t wait for THE WINNER’S CRIME to be released next week so that I can talk about it, finally, with everyone.

    This tour is just a little bit different in that every blogger has to answer the following question…

    The ‘Winner’s Curse’ is an economics term that means you’ve gotten what you wanted – but at too high a price.  What would you pay too much for?

    …instead of sharing their thoughts about THE WINNER’S CURSE and THE WINNER’S CRIME. (Though if you’d like to know what I thought just click the title’s in the previous sentence.)

    To check out the full tour schedule visit the Mac Teen Books website by clicking the banner above or the link HERE.

    To learn more about the series visit its website HERE. And if you have time for a game or a few of “Bite and Sting” you can play it HERE.

    And if you’d like to follow along or join the conversation, just use the hashtag for the book – #TheWinnersCurse – or follow @MarieRutkoski if you’d like to see what the author is tweeting about.


    What’s My Winner’s Curse?

    I’ve paid a high price for a number of things in my life – school, a well-decorated apartment, a place to live in a nice area, radical hair colors… the list goes on. And on. And on. Sometimes the cost has gone beyond a financial cost – the biggest price I’ve paid has been time.

    Right now I am paying far too much to get what I want. And what I want right now, and have wanted for the past year-and-a-half, is to be sailing. But I think it’s so worth it. I’d actually pay even more if I could go sailing every single day of the week.

    There’s just something about leaving the land behind.

    On the Water1

    Even on days when it’s not all sunshine and calm seas.

    On the Water2

    Even when visibility and staying warm and dry starts to become a problem.

    On the Water3

    Because, as Kestrel may attest, there’s nothing like being out at sea on a boat, free from all of the responsibilities that are tied to the land, being at the mercy of the wind and water and little else.

    Sailing is my winner’s curse. And it’s one that I’ll happily pay a steep price for, because the cost will never outweigh the benefit for me.

    What’s your winner’s curse?


    About THE WINNER’S CRIME

    Winners Crime Cover

    Add to Goodreads

    Title: THE WINNER’S CRIME (The Winner’s Trilogy #2)
    Author: Marie Rutkoski
    Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
    Pages: 416
    Release date: March 3, 2015
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Read Chapter One

    Description…

    Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

    The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

    As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS


    About THE WINNER’S CURSE

    The-Winners-Curse

    Add to Goodreads

    Title: THE WINNER’S CURSE (The Winner’s Trilogy #1)
    Author: Marie Rutkoski
    Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
    Pages: 368
    Release date: March 4, 2014
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

    Read Chapter One

    Description…

    Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.

    As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction.

    Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

    Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS


    The Book Trailer


    About Marie Rutkoski

    Marie Rutkoski

    Marie Rutkoski is the author of several novels for children and young adults, including The Winner’s Curse (March 2014). She grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois as the oldest of four children and decided early on that she was Someone Who Loved Books.

    After attending the University of Iowa and living in Moscow and Prague, she studied Shakespeare at Harvard University, where she honed her skill in referring to herself in the third person.

    Marie is now a professor of English literature at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance drama, children’s literature, and fiction writing. New York City is her home, and she thinks there must be birds of prey living in Washington Square Park; she can see large, wheeling wings from the window where she sits and writes. Marie has two small sons who try very hard to make friends with the family cat, only to be snubbed for the dark quiet of a closet. Marie can tie a double figure-eight knot with her eyes closed. She’s learning how to play the violin. She’s a sucker for fancy tea, and her favorite dessert is crème brulée. Or maybe sticky toffee pudding. Tough call.

    WEBSITE | TUMBLR | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTERESTSERIES FACEBOOK | SERIES WEBSITE | SERIES PINTERESTGOODREADS


    The Giveaway

    The winner’s choice of a copy of either THE WINNER’S CURSE or THE WINNER’S CRIME – US only

    • Must be 13 or older to enter
    • There will be ONE winner
    • Giveaway is open to US ONLY
    • Prize will be sent by the publisher
    • Giveaway ends on March 3rd at 11:59 p.m. Pacific
    • Winner will be chosen by Random via Rafflecopter
    • Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email
    • Winner has 72 hours to respond with their details

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    RYAR Review: THE WINNER’S CRIME by Marie Rutkoski

    Previously published on ReadingYA.rocks


    ABOUT THE BOOK


    THE WINNER’S CRIME by Marie Rutkoski
    Series: The Winner’s Trilogy #2
    Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) on March 3, 2015
    Genres: Epic Fantasy
    Provided by: Publisher
    Rating: 5 stars

    AMAZON | B&N | GOODREADS

    This book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

    DESCRIPTION

    Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

    The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

    As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.


    REVIEW


    THE WINNER’S CRIME is the electrifying, tension-filled, and totally epic second installment in Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Trilogy. Treachery, danger, lies and heartbreak await readers in this exciting and twisty-turny tale. The games are more complex, the players more cunning, the stakes even higher, and the losses positively lethal, making this a breathtaking and nail-biting read.

    Kestrel sacrificed her heart to ensure the safety of Arin and the Herrani people. But if she wants them to remain safe, she’s going to have to play by the Emperor’s rules and keep both him and Arin in the dark about how she really feels and what she’s really up to. With spies watching her every move and the Emperor forever calculating, she’s going to have to be a master at deceit if she wants the truth to remain hidden.

    And with Arin trying to discover whether her actions are part of a bigger plan or if she really feels  nothing for him, it won’t be easy. But trusting Arin with her secrets and to do what’s right for his people is dangerous. Because while she is willing to forfeit her happiness, marry Prince Verex and become the future Empress of the Valorian empire, she’s not so sure that he wouldn’t stand in her way.

    Author Marie Rutkoski penned yet another thrilling and beautiful and heartrending story in this stunning and incredibly suspenseful series. Gorgeous writing allows the story to unfold in a way that will draw readers in from the start and immerse them in this world where intrigue, deception,  and cruelty reign. She delivers a well-paced and riveting novel filled to the brim with risky alliances, covert meetings, perilous journeys, unfathomable punishments, and forbidden love.

    She gives readers a heroine who has become even more insightful, more self-sacrificing, and far more skilled at misleading not only her enemies but those she cares most about. She pits Kestrel against a deadly and insidious foe. And she forces her to become stronger so she will be able to resist the temptation to reveal her secrets, to overcome loss, and to take the risks necessary to save lives.

    In THE WINNER’S CRIME friendships will end, trust will be broken, hearts will shattered, and lives will be destroyed. Every moment between Kestrel and Arin will be filled with anticipation as to whether Kestrel will be able to keep up the facade of indifference toward him or whether it will collapse, allowing him to discover the truth. Games, plots, betrayal and heartache abound in this  extraordinary, must read sequel with an ending that will leave readers anxiously awaiting the final installment.

     

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    The Quick & Dirty: The Winner’s Curse & Cruel Beauty

    QUICK

    A long while ago I thought it might be a good idea to post my Quick-ish thoughts about the books I’ve read but didn’t get the chance to review over on The Annex. But I found that the way I’d set things up didn’t meet the “quick” part of the post title. So I decided to let the idea slide.

    But I still found that I really wanted to share my thoughts about some of those amazing – or not-so-amazing – books I’d read. And so I’m trying again here at Fiktshun.

    This time, instead of creating such a rigid format and posting thoughts about a number of books in each post, I thought I’d be a little less formal and limit the number of Q&D thoughts to just two or three books.

    Every once in awhile I may end up writing a review for a book I’ve given my Q&D thoughts about. Especially if it was a book I’d read quite a bit early. But for the most part these Q&D posts will be about books that have already released.

    They’re not just pretty covers….

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    The Winner's CurseTitle: THE WINNER’S CURSE (The Winner’s Trilogy #1)
    Author: Marie Rutkoski
    Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
    Pages: 368
    Release date: March 4, 2014
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook
    Source: eARC and printed ARC from the publisher

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Description…

    Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.

    As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction.

    Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

    Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

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    The Quick & Dirty…

    Epic. Stunning. Extraordinary. All-consuming. An unputdownable, completely captivating read.

    I knew I would love this book. I expected it to be amazing. I was not in the least bit disappointed. The gorgeous cover doesn’t hold a candle to the awesomeness that is the story beneath. It was even better than I imagined it could be.

    Kestrel was a heroine that I instantly liked. She was strong and independent and oh so clever. She got herself into a number of predicaments, some deadly, but was able to use her intelligence to find solutions. As the story progressed I became totally invested in her outcome and knew I would continue with this series to its conclusion to find out what that outcome is.

    I loved that this story held secrets and betrayal. I loved that the world was so danger-filled and unpredictable. I loved that the author didn’t hold back and was willing to challenge her characters, put them in difficult situations and make them face seemingly insurmountable obstacles, heartbreak and loss.

    I had the highest of expectations for THE WINNER’S CURSE and it far exceeded them. The writing is simply beautiful, the world is one I found totally enthralling, Krestrel and Arin are characters I am desperately rooting for, and it’s a must read now story that I can’t wait to continue.

    How it rates…

    06

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

    Favorite quote…

    “I will tell you something you can trust is true.” Arin’s eyes held hers. “We are not friends.”

    Kestrel swallowed. “You’re right,” she whispered. “We’re not.”

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    Cruel BeautyTitle: CRUEL BEAUTY (Cruel Beauty Universe)
    Author: Rosamund Hodge
    Publisher: Balzer + Bray
    Pages: 352
    Release date: January 28, 2014
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook
    Source: eARC from the publisher

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Description…

    Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl’s journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

    Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

    Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

    With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

    But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

    As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

    divider2

    The Quick & Dirty…

    Beautiful. Imaginative. Heartbreaking. Magical. An utterly gorgeous read.

    Rosamund Hodge takes the Beauty and the Beast story to the next level. I was wary of this story with its amazing cover before I began because of the possibility of it giving me déjà vu. But not once did I make comparisons to those other tales. The build-up took a little while, but from the moment Nyx arrived at Ignifex’s castle I was transfixed.

    The story was enchanting and fascinating and the characters were quite different from what I imagined them to be. But it was the world the author created that kept me riveted. It kind of blew my mind. It was a total surprise. Which is why I can reveal no more about it.

    The love story was perfectly, achingly heartbreaking and it made this already amazing story absolutely incredible.

    CRUEL BEAUTY is creative and unique, with an intricate and brilliantly developed plot, a book I will forever call a favorite, and a total must read.

    How it rates…

    06

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

    Favorite quote…

    “…You are never safe with me.” I drew a shuddering breath, trying to will away the sting of tears.

    He opened his eyes and stared up at me as if I were the door out of Arcadia and back to the true sky. “That’s what makes you my favorite.” He reached up and wiped a tear off my cheek with his thumb. “Every wicked bit of you.”

    Share

    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #166

    bookwatchRELEASE

    Below are the (mostly) YA books releasing this week that I am spotlighting for my “Book Watch: Releasing This Week” post.

    These are books for the week of March 4th-March 10th that I have pre-ordered.

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    Panic_HC_JKT_des4.indd

    AddtoGoodreads

    PANIC by Lauren Oliver will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by HarperCollins, the print edition is 416 pages.

    divider2

    I am so excited for PANIC‘s release this week. I love Lauren Oliver’s writing and I can’t wait for everyone to get the chance to read her latest release. I was stoked to get the chance to read this early, which I did ages ago. But it’s been awhile, so I’m thinking it’s time for a re-read.

    I’ve had this pre-ordered from the moment it was available to buy for the Kindle and I’m anxiously awaiting its download. I’m curious to see if there were any changes to the story from the eARC. Especially as regards the way things ended.

    This book was every bit as awesome as what I’d expected from the author. However I was totally surprised by just how the story ends. Of course I won’t reveal in what way I was surprised, just that I was.

    But I will say that it was a fantastic read, and I hope to be able to re-read it this month.

    Description…

    Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

    Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

    Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

    For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

    divider2

    The Winner's Curse

    AddtoGoodreads

    THE WINNER’S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), the print edition is 368 pages.

    THE WINNER’S CURSE is the first book in Author Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Trilogy. A prequel novella, BRIDGE OF SNOW, was released on January 28th. The second and third books in the series are currently untitled.

    divider2

    I just recently read and love, love, loved THE WINNER’S CURSE and am now eagerly awaiting the finished copy to download to my Kindle. This is one of the books I was excited for long before I got the chance to read it, and now that I have, I’m that much more anxious for its release.

    As I spotlighted it for my Book Watch post the other week and I’m hoping to post a review this week, I won’t ramble on too much about what I loved about it. But I can say that it was even better than I hoped it would be. I loved the world the author created. I can’t believe the way things ended. And I’m dying to read the sequel.

    Since I just finished reading it last week, I won’t be re-reading it when my copy arrives, but I will definitely be re-reading it. It’s one of my favorite reads this year and I am kind of madly in love with it right now.

    Description…

    Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

    As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

    One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

    But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

    Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

    divider2

    Steadfast

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    STEADFAST by Claudia Gray will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by HarperTeen, the print edition is 352 pages.

    STEADFAST is the second book in Author Claudia Gray’s Spellcaster series. The release date for the third book in the series, SORCERESS, is not yet set.

    divider2

    I love Author Claudia Gray’s writing and I love the Spellcaster series, so I am totally stoked that STEADFAST is releasing this week and that the finished copy will be downloading to my Kindle.

    I got the chance to read this sequel pre-release and I loved it even more than the first book in the series and hope to post a review later this week or next week. So I don’t want to talk too much about what happens with Nadia, Verlaine and Mateo. And as the description is just a tiny bit spoiler-y for the first book in the series as regards a certain character, I don’t want to talk ramble about it here.

    But I’ll just quickly say it’s a little bit darker, a whole lot more twisty-turny and a totally exciting addition to this crazy addictive series. Of course waiting for the next book in the series is going to annihilate me.

    Description…

    Nadia, Mateo, and Verlaine have saved Captive’s Sound from the dark Sorceress Elizabeth…or so they thought. Despite their best efforts, a crack opened and a new, greater evil seeped through. With Mateo as her Steadfast, Nadia’s magic is magnified and she is more powerful than ever. But there is still so much she doesn’t know about the craft, leaving her open and vulnerable to a darker magic…which has begun to call Nadia’s name.

    divider2

    Death Sworn

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    DEATH SWORN by Leah Cypess will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Greenwillow Books, the print edition is 352 pages.

    DEATH SWORN is the first book in a new series of the same name by Author Leah Cypess. The second book in the series is currently untitled.

    divider2

    I am super excited for DEATH SWORN‘s release this week. I fell in love with the cover and was totally lured in by the description that I just had to pre-order it for my Kindle.

    And as I got the chance to read this early and already know that I love it, I’m even more stoked to have the finished copy for my collection. But I really can’t wait to see what is going to happen in the sequel, so the wait’s not quite over.

    As I have read DEATH SWORN and already shared my review, I don’t want to ramble on and on and on here. But I loved this first book in Leah Cypess’ new series, I can’t wait to see what happens with Ileni and Sorin and while I won’t be re-reading DEATH SWORN in the coming weeks, I hope to be able to re-read it closer to the sequel’s release.

    Description…

    When Ileni lost her magic, she lost everything: her place in society, her purpose in life, and the man she had expected to spend her life with. So when the Elders sent her to be magic tutor to a secret sect of assassins, she went willingly, even though the last two tutors had died under mysterious circumstances.

    But beneath the assassins’ caves, Ileni will discover a new place and a new purpose… and a new and dangerous love. She will struggle to keep her lost magic a secret while teaching it to her deadly students, and to find out what happened to the two tutors who preceded her. But what she discovers will change not only her future, but the future of her people, the assassins… and possibly the entire world.

    divider2

    Wayfarer

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    WAYFARER by Lili St. Crow will be released in the U.S. on March 6, 2014 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Razorbill, the print edition is 304 pages.

    WAYFARER is the second book in Author Lili St. Crow’s Tales of Beauty & Madness series.

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    I cannot believe that WAYFARER is releasing this week and will be downloading to my Kindle on Monday Midnight. I also cannot believe I haven’t yet had the chance to read the first volume in this trilogy.

    Though, as this book is a Cinderella story, I may just have to dive into this one first. Because I can’t wait to learn about Ellie Sinder’s abilities as a Charmer. I can’t wait to meet her “prince” Avery Fletcher. I can’t wait to read this story the description calls “stirringly romantic” and “deliciously spooky.”

    And I can’t wait to see just what happens with Ellie’s soul. Something I will hopefully have time to discover during the second half of this month. Because I love this author’s writing and it’s been ages since I had the chance to read something she’s written.

    Description…

    New York Times bestselling author Lili St. Crow thrilled legions of fans with her dark paranormal series Strange Angels. Now she has created a stirringly romantic, deliciously spooky update of Cinderella, the alluring second volume in her trilogy Tales of Beauty and Madness.

    Ellie Sinder is a Charmer—the most powerful of her age that St. Juno’s Academy has ever seen. But Ellie’s stepmother, Laurissa, wields manipulation and abuse to force Ellie to work her spells ever more intensely, for Laurissa’s profit.

    Then a train from over the Wastelands arrives in New Haven, bearing on it golden boy Avery Fletcher, newly returned from prep school, wearing a sweater Ellie’d love to bury her face in and a smile as bright as his blond hair. Avery’s arrival sets Laurissa off on a dark and dangerous scheme—and this time the soul up for grabs is Ellie’s.

    New York Times bestselling author Lili St. Crow has created a stirringly romantic, deliciously spooky update of Cinderella, the alluring second volume in her trilogy Tales of Beauty and Madness.

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    Nil

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    NIL by Lynne Matson will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), the print edition is 384 pages.

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    From the very first moment I read the description for NIL I knew I must have this book. And I’m so excited for it to download to my Kindle so that I will not only own it but finally get the chance to read it. I feel like I’ve been waiting forever and ever.

    I’ve been very much in the mood for this sort of book as of late – stories that are action-packed, suspenseful, nail-biting. And I can’t wait to meet Charley and Thad and see whether they’ll be able to escape the island of Nil.

    While I really shouldn’t read this book right away, as I have so many books I need to read for review, I just don’t think I’ll be able to wait. Scratch that. I know I won’t be able to. Though I will have to wait until this weekend to sneak it onto the pile as I am currently reading three books I need to finish.

    Description…

    On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have one year. Exactly 365 days–to escape, or you die.

    Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s lying naked in an empty rock field.

    Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that to save their future, Charley must first save him. And on an island rife with dangers, their greatest threat is time.

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    Half Bad

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    HALF BAD by Sally Green will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and in hardcover and eBook formats at BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Viking Juvenile, the print edition is 416 pages.

    HALF BAD is the first book in Author Sally Green’s Half Life trilogy. The second book in the series, HALF WILD, is slated for release in 2015 and the third book is currently untitled.

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    I hadn’t heard of HALF BAD until a copy showed up for review. But when I read the description on the back of the ARC I knew this would be a book I’d want in my collection and so I pre-ordered it. And while I have it on the pile to read this week, I haven’t decided whether to read the ARC or the finished copy or both.

    Either way, I can’t wait to meet Nathan and see just how being half bad affects his life. I’m curious to see whether he’s able to escape from his imprisonment and whether being treated cruelly will turn him toward the darker or lighter side of his nature.

    The description promises a gripping story of a character whose will to survive is strong and I can’t wait to dive in on Tuesday.

    Description…

    A stunning, magical debut. An international sensation.

    In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?

    In the tradition of Patrick Ness and Markus Zusak, Half Bad is a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive, a story that will grab hold of you and not let go until the very last page.

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    Let the Storm Break

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    LET THE STORM BREAK by Shannon Messenger will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Simon Pulse, the print edition is 400 pages.

    LET THE STORM BREAK is the second book in Author Shannon Messenger’s Let the Sky Fall series. The third book in the series is currently untitled.

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    I feel like it was just yesterday that the first book in this series was releasing, so I’m totally surprised that LET THE STORM BREAK is releasing this week and that my copy will be downloading to my Kindle on Tuesday. LET THE SKY FALL was one of the books I was anxiously awaiting and I’m heartbroken that I haven’t had the chance to read it yet.

    But now that the sequel is releasing there’s no way I’m going to wait much longer to read both of these books. I want to meet Vane and Audra. I want to find out whether Audra is able to keep him safe from their enemy. I want to find out what the consequences of their forbidden romance are.

    Even though I have this book pre-ordered, I have not read the description for fear of spoilers. But if it sounds half as exciting as the first book does, then I will be totally stoked to be able to read both books back-to-back later this month.

    Description…

    Whirlwind romance and breathtaking action continues in the sequel to Let the Sky Fall, which Becca Fitzpatrick called “charged and romantic.” 

    Vane Weston is haunted. By the searing pull of his bond to Audra. By the lies he’s told to cover for her disappearance. By the treacherous winds that slip into his mind, trying to trap him in his worst nightmares. And as his enemies grow stronger, Vane doesn’t know how much longer he can last on his own.

    But Audra’s still running. From her past. From the Gales. Even from Vane, who she doesn’t believe she deserves. And the farther she flees, the more danger she finds. She possesses the secret power her enemy craves, and protecting it might be more than she can handle—especially when she discovers Raiden’s newest weapon.

    With the Gale Force weakened by recent attacks, and the power of four collapsing, Vane and Audra are forced to make a choice: keep trusting the failing winds, or turn to the people who’ve betrayed them before. But even if they survive the storms sent to destroy them, will they have anything left to hold on to?

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    16ThingsIThoughtWereTrue

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    16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Sourcebooks Fire, the print edition is 304 pages.

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    I only recently learned that Janet Gurtler’s latest novel, 16 THINGS I THOUGHT WERE TRUE was releasing this week. But when I did, I immediately ran to Amazon to pre-order it for my Kindle.

    This story sounds absolutely delightful and sweet and a little bit sad. I love the hashtag and am curious to learn what 13 other things Morgan thought were true.

    It’s been awhile since I read a road trip story and I’m so in the mood to do so right now. Plus, I’m really curious to find out about this “fake girlfriend” the description mentions. So I hope I’ll be able to sneak this onto the pile next week.

    Description…

    Heart attacks happen to other people #thingsIthoughtweretrue

    When Morgan’s mom gets sick, it’s hard not to panic. Without her mother, she would have no one—until she finds out the dad who walked out on her as a baby isn’t as far away as she thought…

    Adam is a stuck-up, uptight jerk #thingsIthoughtweretrue

    Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan’s getting to know the real Adam, and he’s actually pretty sweet…in a nerdy-hot kind of way. He even offers to go with her to find her dad. Road trip, anyone?

    5000 Twitter followers are all the friends I need #thingsIthoughtweretrue

    With Adam in the back seat, a hyper chatterbox named Amy behind the wheel, and plenty of Cheetos to fuel their trip, Morgan feels ready for anything. She’s not expecting a flat tire, a missed ferry, a fake girlfriend…and that these two people she barely knew before the summer started will become the people she can’t imagine living without.

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    Dangerous

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    DANGEROUS by Shannon Hale will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens, the print edition is 416 pages.

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    DANGEROUS is a book I only just discovered is releasing but one I just had to pre-order for my collection. While I haven’t yet read anything by Author Shannon Hale, I was intrigued by this book’s title and its description.

    I am curious about just what this plot is that killed Maisie’s friends, that threatens her life and that is “changing life on Earth as we know it.” I want to know what role she plays and why she’s the only thing keeping “danger and annihilation” at bay.

    The description is very cryptic, which is probably the main reason this has piqued my interest. But the fact that Maisie’s middle name is Danger is also something that has made me super curious about this story. Of course, the cover being really awesome plays more than a small part in why I just had to have this book, knowing so very little about it.

    I hope to change that early next month when I think I have some time to sneak this onto the pile.

    Description…

    Maisie Danger Brown just wanted to get away from home for a bit, see something new. She never intended to fall in love. And she never imagined stumbling into a frightening plot that kills her friends and just might kill her, too. A plot that is already changing life on Earth as we know it. There’s no going back. She is the only thing standing between danger and annihilation.

    From NY Times bestselling author Shannon Hale comes a novel that asks, How far would you go to save the ones you love? And how far would you go to save everyone else?

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    The Assassin's Blade

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    THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE by Sarah J. Maas will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens, the print edition is 464 pages.

    THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE is a bind-up of all five of the Throne of Glass novellas. HEIR OF FIRE, the third full-length novel in the series, is slated for release on September 2, 2014.

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    I probably own all five of the Throne of Glass novellas already, but I just had to pre-order this bind-up, THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE, for my Kindle. Because I haven’t yet had a chance to read them all, and this way I’ll be able to read them all back-to-back without having to search.

    Which also means I’ll be more likely to read all of them.

    I love this series by Author Sarah J. Maas. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, which is coming this September. But this release of the novellas in one full volume, which is apparently over 450 pages, will be the perfect way to tide me over until then… or make me more anxious for its release. The latter statement being more likely.

    And while I would love to read these the instant they download, I think I should probably wait just a bit longer, so that the wait for the next book in this series won’t be nearly as torturous. Though with the eclectic reading mood I’ve been in, I have a feeling this will be on the pile very, very soon.

    Description…

    Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, she’s sworn to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer for hire, Sam.

    In these action-packed prequel novellas to Throne of Glass, Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and avenge tyranny. But by acting on her own terms, will Celaena truly free herself from her master, or will she suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery?

    This bind-up features all five e-novellas, available in print for the first time!

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    Novellas

    The Blue-haired BoyTHE BLUE-HAIRED BOY (A Faking Normal Story) by Courtney C. Stevens

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: HarperTeen

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Set before the events of Courtney C. Stevens’s debut novel, Faking Normal, this digital short story focuses on Bodee Lennox, otherwise known as the Kool-Aid Kid.

    Bodee Lennox has secrets. About where he got the four-inch scar on his leg. About the bruises on his back. About what it’s really like to live in the Lennox household. These are things he doesn’t share with anyone . . . until he meets Gerry, a girl with bright-green hair and a smile the size of Alaska. When Gerry falls out of a bus in Rickman, Tennessee, and lands at Bodee’s feet, she gives Bodee two things he desperately needs: a friend and a chance to leave Rickman behind, even if it’s just for a few hours.

    He joins Gerry on her epic bus trip for as far as his money will take him. And by the end of the day, more of Bodee has changed than just the color of his hair.

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    The Art of GoodbyeTHE ART OF GOODBYE (Where I Belong #1.5) by Gwendolyn Heasley

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: HarperTeen

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    The heroine of Where I Belong is back in The Art of Goodbye, a romantic digital original novella about first loves and second chances.

    It’s Corrinne Corcoran’s last night in town before heading off to college, and she’s determined it’ll be the most epic night ever. She’s planned every detail of each hour of the night, from what dresses she’ll wear, to what parties she’ll hit, to which of her best friends will be with her. But Corrinne’s perfect plan for her last night in New York goes awry when she runs into a ghost from her past, and the boy she’s never been able to forget—her ex-boyfriend, Bubby, from Broken Spoke. And Corrinne starts to wonder if her expertly planned goodbye to New York City was as perfect as it seemed. . . . Set over the twelve-hour period before Corrinne sets off for college, The Art of Goodbye will make you believe that true love can find you when you’re least expecting it . . . again.

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    Other Books of Note

    CuredCURED (Stung #2) by Bethany Wiggins

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: Walker Childrens

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Now that Fiona Tarsis and her twin brother, Jonah, are no longer beasts, they set out to find their mother, with the help of Bowen and a former neighbor, Jacqui. Heading for a safe settlement rumored to be in Wyoming, they plan to spread the cure along the way–until they are attacked by raiders. Luckily, they find a new ally in Kevin, who saves them and leads them to safety in his underground shelter. But the more they get to know Kevin, the more they suspect he has ties to the raiders. He also seems to know too many details about Jacqui and her family—details that could endanger them all. For the raiders will do anything they can to destroy the cure that would bring an end to their way of life. Bethany Wiggins’s reimagining of our world after an environmental catastrophe won’t fail to stun readers.

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    The Nightmare DilemmaTHE NIGHTMARE DILEMMA (The Arkwell Academy #2) by Mindee Arnett

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: Tor Teen

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Dusty Everhart might be able to predict the future through the dreams of her crush, Eli Booker, but that doesn’t make her life even remotely easy. When one of her mermaid friends is viciously assaulted and left for dead, and the school’s jokester, Lance Rathbone, is accused of the crime, Dusty’s as shocked as everybody else. Lance needs Dusty to prove his innocence by finding the real attacker, but that’s easier asked than done. Eli’s dreams are no help, more nightmares than prophecies.

    To make matters worse, Dusty’s ex-boyfriend has just been acquitted of conspiracy and is now back at school, reminding Dusty of why she fell for him in the first place. The Magi Senate needs Dusty to get close to him, to discover his real motives. But this order infuriates Eli, who has started his own campaign for Dusty’s heart.

    As Dusty takes on both cases, she begins to suspect they’re connected to something bigger. And there’s something very wrong with Eli’s dreams, signs that point to a darker plot than they could have ever imagined.

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    The HavenTHE HAVEN by Carol Lynch Williams

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    For the teens at The Haven, the outside world, just beyond the towering stone wall that surrounds the premises, is a dangerous unknown. It has always been this way, ever since the hospital was established in the year 2020. But The Haven is more than just a hospital; it is their home. It is all they know. Everything is strictly monitored: education, exercise, food, and rest. The rules must be followed to keep the children healthy, to help control the Disease that has cast them as Terminals, the Disease that claims limbs and lungs—and memories.

    But Shiloh is different; she remembers everything. Gideon is different, too. He dreams of a cure, of rebellion against the status quo. What if everything they’ve been told is a lie? What if The Haven is not the safe place it claims to be? And what will happen if Shiloh starts asking dangerous questions?

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    Broken StringsBROKEN STRINGS by Maria Farrer

    Pub. Date: March 6, 2014

    Publisher: Scholastic

    Find It: AMAZON

    Description:

    It is the story of a brilliant young violinist, her determination and struggle to achieve her dreams and the discovery that she is at the center of an extraordinary secret that has pulled apart her family for two generations. Jess, a talented 17-year-old violinist, suffers from stage-fright as she auditions for a place at a prestigious music school. Her family do not have enough money for her to continue to study so when she fails, she vows not to play again. Until her wealthy grandmother – estranged from her family since Jess’s mother fell pregnant – shows up at their doorstep and promises six months of tuition in exchange for Jess moving to live with her. Once ensconced in her grandmother’s rich, but empty, life she starts to uncover the mystery of why her grandmother never spoke to her mother again, and the secret which tore her family apart.

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    Wicked Little SecretsWICKED LITTLE SECRETS (Prep School Confidential #2) by Kara Taylor

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Anne Dowling becomes entangled in a web of secrets involving a missing student and a conspiracy at Wheatley Prep in this fast-paced, juicy follow-up to Prep School Confidential

    Anne Dowling—a fresh, original, and funny new YA heroine whose knowing, irreverent voice will remind readers of Pretty Little Liars and Private—is back for her second semester at Wheatley Prep. Although things have settled (somewhat) since her roommate Isabella’s death, Anne’s still kind of obsessed with the disappearance of Wheatley student Matthew Weaver thirty years ago, since she found a picture of him and his crewmates with the words “they killed him” scrawled on the back among Isabella’s things.

    When Anne learns that her boyfriend Brent’s dad is one of the now-powerful Wheatley alumni who rowed crew with Matthew, and that the crew team continues to induct new members with a creepy-sounding ritual called “The Drop,” she knows further investigation could put her relationship with Brent in danger. Determined to discover the truth, she reaches out to Anthony, Isabella’s townie brother, who helps her delve deeper into the secrets in Wheatley’s past. Secrets someone would kill to keep hidden. As the school’s Spring Formal—and its notorious afterparty—approaches, Anne sees the perfect opportunity to do some off-campus digging into the lives of Wheatley’s VIPs in this thrilling, unputdownable read—but if she’s not careful, she’ll be the next student who never comes back.

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    A Death-Struck YearA DEATH-STRUCK YEAR by Makiia Lucier

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    A deadly pandemic, a budding romance, and the heartache of loss make for a stunning coming-of-age teen debut about the struggle to survive during the 1918 flu.

    For Cleo Berry, the people dying of the Spanish Influenza in cities like New York and Philadelphia may as well be in another country–that’s how far away they feel from the safety of Portland, Oregon. And then cases start being reported in the Pacific Northwest. Schools, churches, and theaters shut down. The entire city is thrust into survival mode–and into a panic. Headstrong and foolish, seventeen-year-old Cleo is determined to ride out the pandemic in the comfort of her own home, rather than in her quarantined boarding school dorms. But when the Red Cross pleads for volunteers, she can’t ignore the call. As Cleo struggles to navigate the world around her, she is surprised by how much she finds herself caring about near-strangers. Strangers like Edmund, a handsome medical student and war vet. Strangers who could be gone tomorrow. And as the bodies begin to pile up, Cleo can’t help but wonder: when will her own luck run out?

    Riveting and well-researched, A Death-Struck Year is based on the real-life pandemic considered the most devastating in recorded world history. Readers will be captured by the suspenseful storytelling and the lingering questions of: what would I do for a neighbor? At what risk to myself?
    An afterword explains the Spanish flu phenomenon, placing it within the historical context of the early 20th century. Source notes are extensive and interesting.

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    Searching for BeautifulSEARCHING FOR BEAUTIFUL by Nyrae Dawn

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: Entangled Teen

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Before, Brynn had a group of best friends, a loving boyfriend, a growing talent for pottery. She had a life. And after…she had none.

    When Brynn lost the boyfriend who never loved her, the friends who feel she betrayed their trust, and the new life just beginning to grow inside her, she believes her future is as empty as her body. But then Christian, the boy next door, starts coming around. Playing his guitar and pushing her to create art once more. She meets some new friends at the local community center, plus even gets her dad to look her in the eye again…sort of.

    But can Brynn open up her heart to truly find her life’s own beauty, when living for the after means letting go of the before?

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    Sing Sweet NightingaleSING SWEET NIGHTINGALE by Erica Cameron

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Mariella Teagen hasn’t spoken a word in four years.

    She pledged her voice to Orane, the man she loves—someone she only sees in her dreams. Each night, she escapes to Paradise, the world Orane created for her, and she sings for him. Mariella never believed she could stay in Paradise longer than a night, but two weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Orane hints that she may be able to stay forever.

    Hudson Vincent made a pledge to never fight again.

    Calease, the creature who created his dream world, swore that giving up violence would protect Hudson. But when his vow caused the death of his little brother, Hudson turned his grief on Calease and destroyed the dream world. The battle left him with new abilities and disturbing visions of a silent girl in grave danger—Mariella.

    Now, Hudson is fighting to save Mariella’s life while she fights to give it away. And he must find a way to show her Orane’s true intentions before she is lost to Paradise forever.

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    Knight AssassinKNIGHT ASSASSIN by Rima Jean

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: Entangled Teen

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Seventeen-year-old Zayn has special powers she cannot control—powers that others fear and covet. Powers that cause the Templar Knights to burn Zayn’s mother at the stake for witchcraft. When a mysterious stranger tempts Zayn to become the first female member of the heretical Assassins, the chance to seek her revenge lures her in. She trains to harness her supernatural strength and agility, and then enters the King of Jerusalem’s court in disguise with the assignment to assassinate Guy de Molay, her mother’s condemner. But once there, she discovers Earic Goodwin, the childhood friend who still holds her heart, among the knights—and his ocean-blue eyes don’t miss a thing. Will vengeance be worth the life of the one love she has left?

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    Divergent Illustrated Movie CompanionDIVERGENT Official Illustrated Movie Companion by Kate Egan

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    The #1 New York Times bestselling novel Divergent is soon to be a major motion picture in theaters March 2014!

    With never-before-seen photos; personal interviews with the directors, actors, and writers; and exclusive extras, this lush, oversize volume is a true behind-the-scenes look at the filming of Divergent.

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    Other Releases

    DIVERGENT THINKING: YA Authors on Veronica Roth’s Divergent Trilogy by Leah Wilson

    MAFIA GIRL by Deborah Blumenthal

    EMILIE AND THE SKY WORLD (Emilie #2) by Martha Wells

    THE RAVEN QUEEN (Feral Child) by Che Golden

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    I have eleven books and two novellas pre-ordered this week. So it’s another insane week for releases and a cruel week for my wallet. But at least this week I’ve read four of the books being added to my collection. So that’s just six full-length novels, a five novella bind-up and two novellas for the TBR. That’s not too bad… right?

    Of course, as THE HAVEN sounds amazing and I’m really curious about A DEATH-STRUCK YEAR, I think I’ll be adding at least two more books to the collection this week. So… maybe not so good for the TBR. Oh well.

    Anyway, as this post is crazy long already and is more than a little bit late getting posted, I will stop rambling now. But as ever, I wish you a happy bookish acquiring and reading week this week!

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    As always, I would love to hear what you’re hoping to add to your collection this week!

    And if you have any great suggestions of “must read” books to buy that are releasing this week, please let me know!

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