If It’s Not A Rant, It’s A Rave: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

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Title:
Blackhearts 
Author:
Nicole Castroman

Publication date: February 9, 2016
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Genres: Young Adult, Historical, Romance

About the Book:

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. 

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository


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I went into Blackhearts without reading the synopsis. All I knew was that this book was “pirate” themed and I was looking for some ARRRMAZING scenes (hahaha…see what I did there?). To my surprise, after finishing the book, discussing it with the book club I’m in, and then reading the author’s note, I discovered that Blackhearts is a retelling of Blackbeard–a notorious pirate who I had briefly studied in school. Also, to a greater surprise, I did not think this book was very “pirate-y” but that did not stop me from loving it. 

First off, I was a major fan of the slow burn romance that brews in Blackhearts. Not only was a huge fan of the romantic intentions that develop between the main characters, but I love that this relationship is based on the love for books and storytelling, hopes for adventure, and a passion to fall in love with someone based on strength, courage, heart, trust, and ferocity. I won’t give too much away on the relationship that I adored in this book, but I’m telling you, you will LOVE it and you will want to pick up the next book immediately. I need smoochies and I need a happily ever after ending…NOW! They deserve it!

Blackhearts is a fun and unique book. From the first page I was hooked, and the last chapter left me yearning for more of Anne and Teach’s story. The book is told in dual points-of-view, which allows the story to unfold in different perspectives that focus not only on a developing relationship, but also a story focused on challenging social status, race, and gender differences. I loved the diversity littered throughout the pages, and the multiple perspectives add a layer of heartwarming scenes, captivating dialogue, and great desire of wanderlust. Of course the ending comes too soon, but luckily, I immediately bought the sequel Blacksouls and I cannot wait to read it this weekend. 

NOTE:  I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review. I bought this book with my own funds and reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

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Waiting on Wednesday: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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About the Book - Raven

Title: An Enchantment of Ravens
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Publication date: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There’s only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel. 

Goodreads | Amazon |Barnes & Noble

RAVES - ORANGE

  1. I am in love with this cover. I love the colors. I love the raven. I love everything about it.
  2. THERE ARE FAIRIES!!! I have not read an amazing fae story in a long time…and you guys, I NEED THIS BOOK AND STORY AND CHARACTERS IN MY LIFE. 
  3. The synopsis sounds intriguing, dangerous, magical, and nail-biting. I have a feeling that this book is going to be words woven into the most beautiful fabric that I cannot wait to wrap myself in. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF THE FAIR FOLK, I NEED THIS BOOK ASAP.
    Is it September, yet?!

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Cover Reveal: The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

With gorgeous description and detailed rendering of a world where not everything and everyone are what they seem, Rebecca Ross weaves an intricate tale of revenge, loyalty, and, ultimately, self-discovery. Don’t miss the beautiful cover for Rebecca Ross’s debut young adult fantasy, THE QUEEN’S RISING, and pre-order your copy today!

THE QUEEN’S RISING Synopsis:

When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

THE QUEEN’S RISING Pre-Order Links:

Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | HarperCollins


Rebecca Ross Bio:

Rebecca Ross received her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Georgia. In the past, she has worked at a Colorado dude ranch, as a school librarian, and as a live-time captionist for a college. She resides in Northeast Georgia with her husband and her dog. THE QUEEN’S RISING is her debut novel. Visit her on the web at www.rebeccarossauthor.com or on Twitter @_RebeccaRoss.

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If It’s Not a Rant, It’s a Rave: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

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Title:
Letters to the Lost
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publication date: April 4, 2017
Publisher:  Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N |  The Book Depository


Letters to the Lost

Where do I start with this amazing book? Letters to the Lost is a book about loss, grief, and unexpected friendships. We live in a world where we are always grasping for that chance of hope and happiness, but we are often overshadowed by the sudden windstorm of death. And instead of being forever lost in grief, Brigid Kemmerer’s book portrays a path of dealing with loss and creating new friendships, while also holding on to cherished memories.

In Letters to the Lost, Kemmerer’s characters experience grief and emptiness after the deaths of close family members, but by the happenstance of letters left at a cemetery, these characters form an unexpected bond through their vulnerable and heartbreaking words. But through misty eyes, I liked that their emotions steadily evolve and elate through a blind connection. What they believe to be just words written on paper turn out to mean the world to each other. 

As one of the main characters, Juliet, a current high school student, realistically portrays the emotional struggles of losing a parent. And in order to deal with her grief, she writes letters to her mother and leaves them at her grave site. But as the synopsis points out, the letters do not remain unread. This is when Declan, a fellow high school student, who is working his community service hours at a local cemetery, finds Juliet’s letters and begins responding to her. 

The mystery of writing letters to an unknown person under the umbrella of anonymity can feel frustrating, maddening, but also satisfying. By Juliet and Declan keeping their identities secret from each other, they do not feel physically exposed; they do not have to hide their honest feelings or the hurt that comes from the reality of death. Instead of bottling up their grief, both characters use their letters as an outlet to be loose cannons of emotional verbiage. I liked that this outlet opens them up to a unique way of healing, acceptance, and finally gripping to hope. 

One of the unique messages that I took away from Letters to the Lost is that the book challenges the characters to see beyond stereotypes. Stereotypes usually distort our views of people, especially in high school. We often think we know a person just by their physical appearance or what others have told us about them. Similar to many high school experiences, Julie and Declan have stereotyped each other and their classmates. But at the end of this book, they notice that these preconceived notions are just fabrications. They are then left to acknowledge that the only person they truly know is themselves and sometimes that is even ever changing.

If you are ever in the mood for a book that portrays the distress of loss and grief with the progression of finding conciliation and peace, I highly recommend Letters to the Lost. This book is full of emotions–pain and sadness–but it also contains a message of hope, discovering ways to cope with loss, and finding friends in the unlikely places.

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NOTE:  I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review. I bought this book with my own funds and reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

Waiting on Wednesday: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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about the book moxie

Title: Moxie
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Publication date: September 19, 2017
Publisher:  Roaring Brook Press
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Feminism

Synopsis

An unlikely teenager starts a feminist revolution at a small-town Texan high school in the new novel from Jennifer Matheiu, author of The Truth About Alice.

MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with a school administration at her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment, and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, and now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

Moxie is a book about high school life that will make you wanna riot!

Goodreads | Amazon |Barnes & Noble

RAVES

AHHH! I am so ready for this book. I have a gut feeling that this book is going to be the empowering book I wish I had read in high school, and I am so glad it has finally been written. We need more feminist books out there in society, especially ones that allow any person to experience the encouragement, the revolution of change, and the strength that comes from personal choice and feminism. 

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