Thursday, October 26, 2017

From the Den: September Edition

From the Den is a feature to showcase the books that I don't post reviews for on the blog, whether I liked them or not. I read so many books that never make it onto The Fox's Hideaway, so I wanted a feature where I could still tell y'all about them. :)

*****

I still have not read been reading much, so it's sad that I only managed 12 in September (and quite a few of those were novella-length). Looks like October's the SAME, which sucks. But I have largely enjoyed what I've read. It just hasn't been a whole lot.

Sabriel

This took me a REALLY long time to finish, mostly because I just wasn't hooked until I was over 100 pages in. Sabriel is kind of the setup book. It takes awhile to find your footing in the story, and there are so many things going on, and information to learn. Plot-lines being woven in that will probably have more significance in the next books. But the world was interesting, and I loved the characters. Sabriel, Touchstone, Mogget. They all had their own distinct personalities, and I thought that as a team, they worked well together. I'm very much looking forward to seeing what happens next in the sequel!
Rating: 3.5 stars


Hamiltome

A must-read for all fans of the sensation that is Hamilton. I LOVED IT SO MUCH. I didn't feel bogged down by unnecessary information (though I don't know much about Broadway or R&B/hip-hop or all these Names, so sometimes that didn't help), and I definitely had to listen to the soundtrack while reading the notes in the margins from Lin-Manuel. I loved learning more about the actors who brought these characters to life, the little historical details that don't make it in the show, all the behind-the-scenes work that transformed Alexander Hamilton's legacy into a rap musical. SO fun and good! I am OBSESSED. #HamilfanForever
Rating: 5 Paw Prints!

 
Never Never series 
Let's just say, I could have skipped this series and been just fine. It started out intriguing and good, and then it just went downhill. I thought the reason behind the two main characters continuously losing their memory was a bit ridiculous? And because these books are so short, you don't really get the time to fall in love with them and their story. So I finished the finale and was just bummed. I wanted MORE from it.
Rating: 3, 3, and 2 respectively


What books did YOU read in September? Have you read any of these yet? If so, what did you think of them? :)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

September Mini Reviews

Because of ALA annual and NetGalley, I'd had quite a few September releases. And these are the ones I read and wanted to share about. :) (Plus an extra erotica novella thrown in for good measure. LOL).

*****

Title: Release 
Author: Patrick Ness
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 19th, 2017!

*I picked up a copy of this from the Harper booth at ALA annual. 

I’ve read a few previous Patrick Ness novels, so I knew that this one would be good. I was just not expecting the amount of love I’d have for it once I finished. It’s a coming-of-age story that is easily relatable with lovable characters. And? WELL. It’s been a long time that I don’t remember everything, but just know that it brought together the feels and the teenage angst and struggles with life and sexuality and relationships, in a realistic way. I didn’t always understand how the magical element to this story fit in, but damn, that ending was pretty beautiful! SUCH GOODNESS.

Rating: 4 Paw Prints!


Title: The Girl with the Red Balloon (The Balloonmakers #1)
Author: Katherine Locke
Publisher: AW Teen
Release Date: September 1st, 2017!

*eARC kindly provided by Albert Whitman & Company via NetGalley* 

I'd once tried Second Position, but set it aside because of my meh mood in life and a reading slump. So I was slightly nervous, just because like, I want to love Katherine's books. Her writing had hooked me, and I knew that I'd read more of her stories even though I never finished the one above. And I'm glad to say that I really did enjoy this one a lot! It was a quieter, emotional read than I was expecting, but one that was no less impactful. It had magic and heart and bravery, and most of all, love. Between friends, between family, and between two people who find small bits of happiness in a chaotic and dangerous time. I thought the switch-up in POVs was done really well (especially Benno's short but heartbreaking chapters), and I absolutely adored the queer side character, Mitzi. As well as Kai and Ellie. Such a good story! Also, I feel like this is the first time I'm noticing the couple in the balloon. I don't know how I've missed it for so long, and now I can't un-see it.

Rating: 4 Paw Prints! 


Title: Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #2)
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Release Date: September 19th, 2017!

*I picked up a copy of this at ALA annual. 

I liked Stalking Jack the Ripper, but I hadn't loved it. Still, I was very interested in this not-quite-direct sequel, especially because of the setting. Having it take place in Romania, in Vlad the Impaler's own castle, was both unsettling and fascinating. It made for such an atmospheric read, and coupled with it being set in the past, I was hooked from the first chapter. And I ended up loving this installment! I so appreciated that Audrey Rose's PTSD wasn't dismissed, that her and Thomas were both feeling the effects of what happened back in London. And they were trying to figure out their relationship in the midst of more murders and a competitive course that forces them to relive the past. It was realistic, and felt true to their characters, and I adored watching their romance blossom. Also was so happy about the side f/f relationship! And that Cresswell's sister is gonna become a more major character. I saw someone's theory about the third book, and OMG I can't wait to see if it's right! I'm so excited to continue the adventures, and I'm glad I gave this one a chance after my lukewarm feelings toward the first.

Rating: 4.5 Paw Prints!


Title: Seducing His Student
Author: London Hale
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: September 18th, 2017!
 
All these ~heroes~ are the same character type. Alpha males, aggressive, arrogant, the right mix of dirty and sweet. And that's not ALWAYS bad, but Elliot wasn't just bordering creepy stalker, he was sailing over the line. His texts to Sam after he broke it off and messed with her head after seeing her talking with another guy reminded me of the typical Nice Guy. It was straight-up manipulation. And every time he called her my girl or my Sam, I cringed. I think she could do better. *shrugs* This was quick but utterly boring and so perfectly wrapped up that him being the dean of students never felt like it would be an issue, which took away that forbidden intensity from a romance trope like this. So, a nope for me on this one.

Rating: 2 Paw Prints! 

 
Title: There's Someone Inside Your House
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 26th, 2017!

*I picked up a copy of this from the Penguin booth at ALA annual.

This was certainly a page-turner. Though I'd guessed the killer early on, and the mystery never had me scared, I wanted to keep reading because I wanted to understand the why of it and see how it all played out. I liked the characters, the setting, the atmosphere of there being a murderer on the loose only a week or so before Halloween. I liked that there were no stupid horror movie tropes (i.e. the MC running TOWARD the clear danger and not away, at least without trying to be cautious and smart about it first), and that there was also a focus on the normal, on the regular every-day teenage stuff. As with Stephanie's contemporaries, this was sex positive and featured a sweet romance. It also had a LOVELY relationship between Makani and her grandmother, the person who believes in her and reminds her that your mistakes do not define you as a person. I liked that this was all mixed in with the bloodbath because it showed that life continues on despite tragedies. On a whole, I really enjoyed the story!

Rating: 3.5 Paw Prints! 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

(84) Top Ten Unique Book Titles

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic: Top Ten Unique Book Titles.

*****

1. The Star-Touched Queen - maybe not the most unique (soooo many book titles with Queen in it), but I love it so much. It's magical.

2. Whichwood - it's the name of the place this book is set in, and I just find it so whimsical. it fits the world really well. 

3. A Fierce and Subtle Poison - so dark yet so good. Also love her second book's title, All the Wind in the World.

4. Under the Never Sky - the titles in this series are all great and unique, but this one is my favorite.

5. The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You - this is like Taylor Swift level of bitter, I love it.

6. Tell the Wolves I'm Home - just so fantastic and I can't even really say why, except that it's definitely got a hidden meaning, and I like those

7. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender - another longer one that doesn't feel like a mouthful; it's so pretty

8. A Curse So Dark and Lonely - honestly sounds like it'll be a really dark fantasy, and I am SO HERE FOR THAT

9. The Language of Thorns - as sharp as a knife, as enchanting as a fairytale

10. When We Set the Dark on Fire - I just love the sound of this one, and I am SO EXCITED for it!


 Honorable Mentions of the Moon
Outrun the Moon
The Girl Who Drank the Moon
When the Moon Was Ours
Even the Moon Has Scars


What are some of YOUR favorite book titles? Would any of these ones make your list? Let's talk! :)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Current Events of the Fall Season

So I shared a 140 character or less quote on Twitter from the dark fantasy, and it got SO MANY likes that it just makes me so happy people seem to be intrigued when I talk about it. I sadly haven't written much more in it, only a few future scenes that just wouldn't leave my mind. But. PROGRESS.

Also a little while ago I started a meet cute short story inspired by the Meet Cute anthology coming out in January. I loved writing it, and I was challenging myself to finish *something* because I never have. And I wanted it to give me the confidence to do better at finishing my WIPs. I was aiming for around 7,500-8000 words, and I got to 4.2k. I'd planned on posting it on the blog when I was done, and that was it.

BUT GUESS WHAT HAS NOW BECOME A FULL-LENGTH NOVEL AND WILL BE MY NANO PROJECT THIS YEAR? lolololol Shannon totally called it. I'll be talking more about this WIP on November 1st, but I'm just so excited to start it. I don't know what I'm doing with the 4.2k I already have yet, so I'm just starting from the beginning, when my two MCs meet again after two years. I can't wait to start actually writing it. :D


I'm actually not reading very much right now, feeling sort of meh over books. I've started and stopped so many lately. The past two weekends I've finished a few, so I think I'm slowly getting over the slump, but idk because I just am still having a hard time finishing stories. WAH. So, anyway, I hope it ends soon because I've got 2017 eARCs to catch up on! My ~currently reading~ pile:

  • The Speaker by Traci Chee: which is really good so far, and I'm very intrigued how the rest of it will go! Archer is still my love *heart eyes*
  • First and First by Santino Hassell: I just love his books so much, and I decided his Five Boroughs series will be my October one. But I'm running out of time, so I NEED to get this one finished + another.
  • How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake: wanted to read it bc of the bisexual MC, and I'm not super into it, but it's probably gonna be a short book, so I'm sure I'll finish it soon. I hope.
  • The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli: I'm enjoying this one, but I just haven't gotten, idk, hooked enough to stick with it.
  • Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody: the first chapter was okay? I'm not sure if this one will be for me, because I'm not a circus fan, but I'll give it a bit more to see if my opinion changes.
  • The Tiger's Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera: I just. I CAN'T DO BOOKS LIKE THIS RIGHT NOW. I'm already so confused after one chapter, and I'm sure it'll be worth slogging through a slow pace + world I need wrap my head around. But do I have the time to invest? NOT REALLY.
  • Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust: I am REALLY into this, but it's on the slower side, and definitely more character-driven. So not much is actually happening, but I want to keep reading, so that's a good sign!
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: I already knew this one was a book I'd just read every once in awhile, so my not finishing it isn't a big deal. I will get it done one of these days!

*dies*


I finally went back and finished season two of Outlander, so now I'm caught up and watching season three as the episodes come on! I'm so obseeeessed with this show that I also started the first book a few weeks ago and will be on-and-off reading it (since it's so effing long). I also finally watched The Bold Type, and omfg I fucking love this show so much. I'm currently writing a post about why you should be watching it too. I CANNOT WAIT FOR SEASON TWO. WHEN CAN I HAVE IT.

I also found the anime, Fairytail, on Amazon so I bought the first season (and am sad it's in English, because it isn't the same as when it's in Japanese) and rewatched the episodes I'd already seen. Now I'm into new-to-me episodes, and oh how I've missed this show. The world. The magic. But especially the characters. Natsu, Lucy, Gray, Erza, Happy, etc. They are all so well-rounded, and I LOVELOVELOVE their relationships and banter with one another. It's the best. I need more of it all the time.


So what have you guys been currently up to? Any good movies or TV shows or books I should check out? Are you a NaNoWriMo person? If so, be my buddy! skizzles22 :)

Friday, October 20, 2017

Cover Reveal: Sweet Life by Nina Lane



He knows if she's been bad or good. 

Amidst the sugarplums and mistletoe, fashion stylist Julia Bennett is every inch a scrooge. Known for her ice-queen ways, she's having a meltdown over a botched business deal and an upcoming milestone birthday. Add the pressure of forced holiday cheer, and she's ready to dive into the spiked eggnog and not come out until summer. Warren Stone, president and owner of the Sugar Rush Candy Company, is determined to make Julia slow down and enjoy the holidays. As her friend and confidante for fourteen years, he knows her better than anyone. But when decking the halls leads them to an explosive, sexy night, everything suddenly changes. Just when Julia thinks Warren is all she wants for Christmas, an old flame comes to town and reminds her of the carefree girl she used to be. As the new year approaches, Julia is forced to decide if she wants to relive the past or embrace the future.   

PRE-ORDER NOW 

iBooks | Amazon


        *****


 *****

New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances about professors, bad boys, candy makers, and protective alpha males who find themselves consumed with love for one woman alone. Originally from California, Nina holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she's that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter  

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

October 2017 Releases

This is late because of the Shattering Stigmas event (which has a INT giveaway still running!), but I still wanted to share it with y'all. :)

October 2nd 

October 3rd

October 4th

October 10th

October 17th

October 24th

October 31st


I've already read: SO. MANY. October is always such a huge month with new releases, and I was able to pick up a lot of them when I went to ALA annual in June. And I got through *most* of my list, all but one or two titles. And anyway here they are: All the Crooked Saints, This Darkness Mine, A Line in the Dark, Brooding YA Hero, Gray Wolf Island, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, Wild Beauty. So yeah, basically all of them. 😂 All but Wild Beauty got around 3-3.5 stars, so it wasn't exactly a bunch I loved. But I definitely enjoyed them all!

From NetGalley/ALA/publishers: 27 Hours and The Tiger's Daughter. I'm nervous about the former, and I am almost certain I'll be DNFing the latter because I just do not have time for a book like this. I'm also reading and enjoying The Last Namsara and hope to finish it soon. The Knowing and That Inevitable Victorian Thing are on my list too, and I want to read them before 2017 ends, at least.

My most anticipated: um, I kind of already read them all? LOLOLOL. I am really looking forward to Dear Martin, though!


What October releases have you been most excited to read? Did I miss any that should be on my radar? Let's talk! :)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Don't Be a Starfish

Title: Starfish
Author: Akemi Dawn Bowman
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: September 26th, 2017!
*eARC kindly provided by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing via NetGalley*

From Goodreads...
Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.

But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

From debut author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes a luminous, heartbreaking story of identity, family, and the beauty that emerges when we embrace our true selves.



My Review!
I felt such a personal connection to Kiko, the main character. I'm not biracial, nor half-Japanese, but there was a whole lot about Kiko's life and personality that I related to so hard. It made the read that much more special to me, because it's not very often when I can say that a book is basically my life.

*Kiko is a middle child
*with two brothers
*she's shy and quiet
*awkward and has social anxiety
*parties make her super anxious, and she feels better when she's got friends like Jamie and Emery around 
*feels weird for fangirling and showing her passion for things
*is a dreamer and a creative type
*doesn't like confrontation
*but wants so badly for people to see her feelings
*yet she's always scared those she loves will get angry or dislike her for feeling different from what they want
*but she's so courageous, and she learns how to demand better from people
*I'm going through a similar situation re: the relationship Kiko has with her Mom, but with a cousin of mine. I know starfish in my life too, and it SUCKS.

So yeah, I ended up absolutely loving this book, and all I wanted while reading it was to give Kiko a big hug and tell her that she deserved better from many people in her life. I loved that this book didn't tie everything into a neat little bow (especially with her mental health) and that it had so much good in it, especially the relationships Kiko makes with others. Just absolutely WONDERFUL.

RATING: 

 

Also, I wanted to share this interview Akemi did with one of my co-hosts for the Shattering Stigmas event. Guys, READ THIS BOOK! :D