Waiting on Wednesday: Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao

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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Title: Blood Heir
Author: Amélie Wen Zhao
Publication date: June 4, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis

The hottest fantasy debut of the summer, perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone, Blood Heir is the first book in an epic new series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the conman she must trust to clear her name for her father’s murder. 

In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled and enslaved. Their varied abilities to control the world around them are unnatural–dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, might be the most monstrous of them all. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls.

But when Ana’s father, the emperor, is murdered, her world is shattered: Ana is the one framed as his killer. To save herself, she must flee the safety of the palace and enter a land that hunts her and her kind. And to clear her name, she must find her father’s murderer on her own. Yet, what Ana finds is far worse than she ever imagined. A greater conspiracy is at work in Cyrilia, one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help her get to its rotten core: Ramson Quicktongue.

A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has sinister plans–though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.

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If It’s Not a Rant, It’s a Rave: Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

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Title:
 Kindred Spirits
Author:  Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin’s Giffin
Release Date: April 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis:

‘Everybody likes everything these days. The whole world is a nerd.’
‘Are you mad because other people like Star Wars? Are you mad because people like me like Star Wars?’
‘Maybe.’

If you broke Elena’s heart, Star Wars would spill out. So when she decides to queue outside her local cinema to see the new movie, she’s expecting a celebration with crowds of people who love Han, Luke and Leia just as much as she does.

What she’s not expecting is to be last in a line of only three people; to have to pee into a collectible Star Wars soda cup behind a dumpster or to meet that unlikely someone who just might truly understand the way she feels.

Kindred Spirits is an engaging short story by Rainbow Rowell, author of the bestselling Eleanor & ParkFangirl and Carry OnKindred Spirits has been specially produced for World Book Day.


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If you’re in the mood for a cute and quick contemporary read, I highly recommend Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell. In this short story, I love that Star Wars is the main incentive that brings all of these characters together. I found the story to be so sweet and the characters very realistic. Rainbow has a very unique way of allowing her characters and side characters to shine brightly on the page with smart and witty banter. And if you’re a fan of Star Wars, like me, you will laugh along with the nerdy references and jokes that play between these characters.

Because the story is extremely short, I don’t want to give too much away. But I must say even though each characters’ secrets and flaws unravel throughout the pages, the friendships that develop in this story are cute and memorable.

4 star rating
Note: I received this book as a “freebie” on World Book Day from my local independent bookstore.  All statements and opinions are my own. 

Book Review: Famous In A Small Town by Emma Mills

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Title:
 Famous in A Small Town

Author: Emma Mills
Publisher:  Henry Holt
Release Date: January 15, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

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Synopsis:

For Sophie, small-town life has never felt small. She has the Yum Yum Shoppe, with its famous fourteen flavors of ice cream; her beloved marching band, the pride and joy of Acadia High (even if the football team disagrees); and her four best friends, loving and infuriating, wonderfully weird and all she could ever ask for. 

Then August moves in next door. A quiet guy with a magnetic smile, August seems determined to keep everyone at arm’s length. Sophie in particular. 

Country stars, revenge plots, and a few fake kisses (along with some excellent real ones) await Sophie in this hilarious, heartfelt story.


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I’m not much for country music, but the small-town feel of Famous In A Small Town by Emma Mills won me over. If I could count how many times I laughed out loud on my fingers, I would need more fingers. But even though I found myself laughing throughout the story, I did find this book to have a more serious tone than past Emma Mills’ books that I enjoyed.

I love the friendships that Emma creates in her books, and Famous In a Small Town has A LOT of them…A LOT! The numerous amount of friends in this book overwhelmed me at first, but that did not falter me from staying focused on the story at hand. I had a hard time relating to the main character (Sophie) and her friends and family, but this doesn’t mean that other readers won’t connect to her. Sophie’s story broke my heart and then carefully pieced it back together with love, laughter, and macaroni and cheese (the good kind, that you make on the stove, not that gross kind that you make in the microwave). 

If you are already an Emma Mills fanatic, and even if you are not, this book will make your heart ache like a country song that you tell everyone that you hate, but you actually might love because it’s so damn catchy! Plus there are some swoons! I love me some good “Emma Mills” swoons!

3 star rating

Note: Thank you to Henry Holt and Fierce Reads for providing me an early copy of this book to read and review. I was not compensated for this review. All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

Book Review: Snow in Love

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Title:
 Snow in Love

Author: Melissa de la Cruz, Nic Stone, Aimee Friedman, and Kasie West
Publisher:  Point
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Short Stories, Anthology, Holiday

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Synopsis:

What’s better than one deliciously cozy, swoon-worthy holiday story? Four of them, from some of today’s bestselling authors.

From KASIE WEST, a snowy road trip takes an unexpected detour when secrets and crushes are revealed.

From AIMEE FRIEDMAN, a Hanukkah miracle may just happen when a Jewish girl working as a department store elf finds love.

From MELISSA DE LA CRUZ, Christmas Eve gets a plot twist when a high school couple exchange surprising presents.

From NIC STONE, a scavenger hunt amid the holiday crowds at an airport turns totally romantic.

So grab a mug of hot cocoa, snuggle up, and get ready to fall in love…


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Snow in Love is the perfect collection of stories to read during this time of year. If you are in the mood for some quick swoony, holiday reads, I highly recommend you pick up this anthology during December. Each of the four stories will give you warm and holiday feels, but overall my favorite story was Kasie West’s “Snow and Mistletoe.” 

“Snow and Mistletoe” by Kasie West ★★★★★

I don’t know if this story could get any cuter. It has swoons, car games, crushes, banter, deep and growing friendships, and the most perfect holiday ending. If West ever decides to write a novel on these characters, I would read it in a heartbeat.

Working in A Winter Wonderland” by Aimee Friedman ★★

The main character (Maxine) drove me up the wall. She was so negative and a downer throughout the whole story. The ending is sweet, but that’s only because a fellow co-worker is adorable and a true romantic. 

The Magi’s Gifts” by Melissa De La Cruz ★★

This story is a holiday “retelling” and very predictable. It’s cute but the ending is mildly irritating. 

“Grounded” by Nic Stone ★★★

This was my second favorite story in the anthology. The two main characters are adorable, and I love that they take the negativity of being snowed in at a airport to a creative level. Their “I Spy and Hide-and-Seek” adventure mends old memories and unites an old friendship. Plus, I love that both characters are so down-to-earth, honest, and realistic. 

3 star rating

Note: I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in 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: White Stag by Kara Barbieri

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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Title: White Stag
Author: Kara Barbieri
Publication date: January 8, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis

The first book in a brutally stunning series where a young girl finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.

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