Wednesday, May 30, 2018

May Mini Reviews

I've read many good books lately, even some that were published this May that I wanted to spotlight on the blog. :)


Title: From Twinkle, With Love
Author: Sandhya Menon
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: May 22nd, 2018!
*eARC kindly provided by Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing via NetGalley*

Find it on Goodreads.

My Review!
Refreshingly real and young adult. Twinkle is not a perfect person. She hurts people and makes mistakes and just can't ever seem to see her own worth. But she had to stumble through everything to learn that life and relationships are messy, and that you are the only one who can determine your own future and who you want to be. She's awkward, quiet, and doesn't always know how to speak up for herself, but it just endeared her to me, because I saw a lot of myself in her. And oh, the ship. It was ADORABLE. Sandhya seriously knows how to write the love and romance. I liked this a lot! The friendships were fun, I loved the movie they made, and it just had a lot of what it is being a teenager, and all the good and bad that comes with it. 
Rating: 3.5 Paw Prints!

Title: The Way You Make Me Feel
Author: Maurene Goo
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: May 8th, 2018!

Find it on Goodreads.

My Review!
Oh, I ADORED this one. It was so rich and full of food, LA, family, and friends. It could get a little annoying at times because of the pranks and Clara's stubbornness and refusal to accept change, but that felt realistic with the characters being teenagers. And I loved how Clara and Rose formed a strong friendship once they put aside their differences and apologized and actually got to know each other. I wasn't as omg feels about the romance; mainly because I felt that the book was really formed around the relationship Clara has with her dad, Adrian. THESE TWO. They had me crying at one point in the book, because they just loved each other so much and Clara had to figure things out and make mistakes to truly see just how good she's got it. He's the best of her, and she's the best of him. (I almost didn't need the romance with all of this, tbh). I loved the food truck plot, too! You almost can't read this story without eating first. Haha. So yeah, The Way You Make Me Feel was my first Maurene Goo book, but it definitely won't be the last!
Rating: 4 Paw Prints!

Title: The Surface Breaks
Author: Louise O'Neill
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: May 3rd, 2018!

Find it on Goodreads.

My Review!
While I LOVED the sharp, feminist girl-power story, it wasn't particularly engaging all the time? It was predictable and wrapped around an instant-lust attraction the MC feels for this human boy she saves from the sirens who sing people to death from the sea. And NONE of the characters were likable, even if you could understand their motivations and why they are the way that they are. Even the main character, Gaia, who took awhile to warm up to, was frustrating at times. She was so young and naive, and it showed. She had growth throughout the story, allowing her to choose her own path and freedom. I just feel... very conflicted about this one. However, the writing pulled me in, and I saved so many quotes from the book.

It is easier for girls to be agreeable. Don't you want an easy life, my child?

The women always get blamed. Have you noticed that?

I live in the dark because I can be true there, and living true is the most important thing any woman can do.

It is a hard thing to be a woman in this world, whether beneath the sea or if you break the surface.

Rating: 3 Paw Prints!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

My Kingdom for These Bookish Items

I have a wishlist of bookish things I would gladly sell my soul to the devil to get. Sometimes a book or series leaves you wanting more, or there's a cool item a character has that you want in your life too. And sometimes, an author drops off the face of the earth and you're left wondering when the fuck they'll ever publish another novel. Whatever is, I'm sure you've got your own list, too. We bookworms are passionate, and we want MORE ALWAYS, DAMN IT.

1. a 3rd Fixer novel. 

It's so upsetting when publishers care so much about sales that they don't keep a series going (look, I know it's a business, but MAYBE IF YOU'D PROMOTE MORE THAN A HANDFUL OF AUTHORS, THINGS WOULD BE FINE). It's not like this ends poorly; but rather, that there's a lot more story to tell. But it will only happen if Bloomsbury sees those numbers, and I guess they haven't. *sobs forever about the unfairness of it all*

2. a new Chelsea Fine book. 

Right Kind of Wrong was published in September 2014. ALMOST FOUR FUCKING YEARS AGO. Where is my next Fine book? Why is it not in my hands? How am I supposed to get through all of these garbage fire years without one? She's one of my favorite authors; I'm so devastated.

3. a sequel to A Madness So Discreet. 

I said it after I read this book, but I'll say it again: it would make a fantastic sleuthing series. Gimme all the stories with Grace and Thornhollow bantering back and forth while solving crimes using psychology. Pretty please?

4. more f/f fantasy (and more f/f in general). 

DON'T WE DESERVE GOOD THINGS? f/f romances are just not as common as m/m, and certainly not in any genre that isn't contemporary. And since fantasy is my heart, I would absolutely to see more of it in that genre specifically. (We're not even going to talk about the absurd disappointment that was Of Fire and Stars). Like, all I can think of besides that one is The Cursed Queen. That is so sad. I'm not a fan. *continues writing her f/f dark fantasy*

5. a Marauders prequel. 

Out of all in the Harry Potter world and characters, this story is what I want the most. Guys, I just like really, really love the marauders (except Wormtail, neeeeever Wormtail), especially the epic love story of James and Sirius. 

However, I feel like I can't even trust JK Rowling anymore. It could either be the best or the WORST story. There is no in-between. And I don't want her to ruin my faves the way that she's ruined MANY things about her precious world. Ugh.

6. a coat like Kell's.

How cool would it be to have a coat that can be turned into *any* coat, where you find all these pockets filled with lost treasures? I'd have one for every occasion, every situation. I looove that, especially when I live in Michigan, where the weather never knows what it wants to do. (Also, in case you don't know, Kell is one of the main characters in the Shades of Magic series by Victoria Schwab, which is AMAZING and one of my all-time favorites).

7. Melina Marchetta's (hopefully) next fantasy. 

It's no secret how much I love Melina Marchetta's books. Her contemporaries are the perfect amount of hopeful and heartbreaking, and they've all been favorites of mine. But I thought she truly shined with the Lumatere Chronicles, a hard-hitting emotionally traumatizing fantasy series that I've reread multiple times (and want to reread again this year). So I'm (im)patiently waiting for her next fantasy. Hell, I'd even take a new book IN the Lumatere world at this point. I'm not nearly done with those characters, tbh. So yeah, gimme her next foray into my favorite genre. 

8. a new Michelle Smith book.

It's been awhile since Game On released, and I've heard nothing new from her yet, and I'm slowly dying inside. I need more of her stories. Play On is a book of my heart, and I just. I need something new, okay?!

What bookish things would you give up your kingdom for? Would any of these make your list too? Let's talk! :)

Monday, May 21, 2018

Another Gem from Queen Marchetta

Title: The Piper's Son
Author: Melina Marchetta
Publisher: Candlewick Press/Penguin Australia/Viking
Release Date: March 1st, 2010!

From Goodreads...
The award-winning author of Finnikin of the Rock and Jellicoe Road pens a raw, compelling novel about a family's hard-won healing on the other side of trauma.

Award-winning author Melina Marchetta reopens the story of the group of friends from her acclaimed novel Saving Francesca—but five years have passed, and now it's Thomas Mackee who needs saving. After his favorite uncle was blown to bits on his way to work in a foreign city, Tom watched his family implode. He quit school and turned his back on his music and everyone that mattered, including the girl he can't forget. Shooting for oblivion, he's hit rock bottom, forced to live with his single, pregnant aunt, work at the Union pub with his former friends, and reckon with his grieving, alcoholic father. Tom's in no shape to mend what's broken. But what if no one else is either? An unflinching look at family, forgiveness, and the fierce inner workings of love and friendship, The Piper's Son redefines what it means to go home again.


My Review!
Tom always did anger well.

Tom is an angry, angsty young adult navigating the treacherous waters of grief and the complicated mess that is your early 20s. He’s a bastard. He’s ill-tempered, and immature, and irritating, and he pushed everyone away after his uncle died. He is a difficult person. But. Grief makes you selfish. It steals all the good inside of you and tries to make everything ugly. It is… not an excuse, but an understanding that I can’t help but feel. And I felt for Thomas. For his hurt and pain, for the abandonment he’s felt, and the loneliness, and the broken kind of heart that comes when you lose a dear loved one. And I understood the pull toward anger, the need for that whip-lash temper to channel your focus so you can’t feel the pain anymore. So you remember what it’s like to feel anything else. He had a lot of groveling to do. He had a lot to work through. But oh. oh boy was his journey worth the frustration. “I think we’re getting our Tom back.” d y i n g. He fought his way through the hellfire, and while he’s not perfect or at 100% yet, he’s at a place of healing. And that is something.

I had foolishly thought it would be more about Tom and Tara, but it wasn’t, and so I didn’t really get much feels about their relationship? I honestly focused more on the family stuff, and I’m okay with that. I ADORE Tara, but was sad because she wasn’t really in this book. And I missed some of the other characters from Saving Francesca (like Jimmy and Siobhan, whom I want to see more of in the future, YAY FOR JIMMY’S BOOK). But I loved that my darling Frankie was so present, and Justine. And that there were so many other characters. Like Tom’s family.

Love’s easy. It kind of comes with the territory. But liking is another story.

What would they call his family in the textbooks? Broken? He comes from a broken home. The Mackees can't be put back together again. There are too many pieces of them missing.

This is not a love story; rather, it’s a story about family. And the kind of love that makes it easy to forgive and hard to forget. My heart hurt so much for the Mackee-Finches. For Georgie, who still struggles with wanting things and who didn’t always know how to handle what life threw her way, but who would do anything for her family. Her loyalty and forgiveness were what kept them from falling apart completely. I wasn’t always happy about the choices that these adults made, but The Piper’s Son was a very, very realistically drawn novel about how flawed humans are. They fought and spoke out in anger, but they were a tight-knit group of people who just loved each other so much that they would do anything for each other. “Just say I lose my boy.” sobbing forever. Tom’s relationship with his dad in particular is one of the focal points of this story, and one of the most gut-wrenching. That ending had me in tears. Scratch that. This whole book had me in tears.

I absolutely loved The Piper’s Son. More so, even, than Saving Francesca (which I need to reread because it’s been way too fucking long and I read that book so fast I forgot Important Things [like *whispers* Jimmy]). It might even have beat out Jellicoe Road as my favorite Marchetta contemporary. I took my time with the book, savored all the feelings it gave me, and died from all the cute between the friends. I need more. I want more. Give me everything about the Mackees, Finches, and all the people who come and go in their lives.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Excerpt and Giveaway: Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine

Today I'm excited to be sharing an excerpt from Smoke and Iron, the upcoming 4th installment in Rachel Caine's library series, as well as a giveaway! I've really enjoyed the first two books in this series and cannot wait to continue it.


Title: Smoke and Iron (The Great Library, #4)
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: Berkley Books
Release Date: July 3rd, 2018!

From Goodreads...
To save the Great Library, the unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone, Paper and Fire, and Ash and Quill put themselves in danger in the next thrilling adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.

The opening moves of a deadly game have begun. Jess Brightwell has put himself in direct peril, with only his wits and skill to aid him in a game of cat and mouse with the Archivist Magister of the Great Library. With the world catching fire, and words printed on paper the spark that lights rebellion, it falls to smugglers, thieves, and scholars to save a library thousands of years in the making...if they can stay alive long enough to outwit their enemies.


It had all started as an exercise to fight the unending boredom of being locked in this Alexandrian prison cell.

When Jess Brightwell woke up, he realized that he’d lost track of time. Days blurred here, and he knew it was important to remember how long he’d been trapped, waiting for the axe to fall—or not. So he diligently scratched out a record on the wall using a button from his shirt.

Five days. Five days since he’d arrived back in Alexandria, bringing with him Scholar Wolfe and Morgan Hault as his prisoners. They’d been taken off in different directions, and he’d been dumped here to—as they’d said—await the Archivist’s pleasure.

The Archivist, it seemed, was a very busy man.

Once Jess had the days logged, he did the mental exercise of calculating the date, from pure boredom. It took him long, uneasy moments to realize why that date—today—seemed important.

And then he remembered and was ashamed it had taken him so long.

Today was the anniversary of his brother Liam’s death. His elder brother.

And today meant that Jess was now older than Liam had ever lived to be.

He couldn’t remember exactly how Liam had died. Could hardly remember his brother at all these days, other than a vague impression of a sharp nose and shaggy blondish hair. He must have watched Liam walk up the stairs of the scaffold and stand as the rope was fixed around his neck.

But he couldn’t remember that, or watching the drop. Just Liam, hanging. It seemed like a painting viewed at a distance, not a memory.

Wish I could remember, he thought. If Liam had held his head high on the way to his death, if he’d gone up the steps firmly and stood without fear, then maybe Jess would be able to do it, too. Because that was likely to be in his future.

He closed his eyes and tried to picture it: the cell door opening. Soldiers in High Garda uniforms, the army of the Great Library, waiting stone-faced in the hall. A Scholar to read the text of his choice to him on the way to execution. Perhaps a priest, if he asked for one.
But there, his mind went blank. He didn’t know how the Archivist would end his life. Would it be a quiet death? Private? A shot in the back? Burial without a marker? Maybe nobody would ever know what had become of him.

Or maybe he’d end up facing the noose after all, and the steps up to it. If he could picture himself walking without flinching to his execution, perhaps he could actually do it.

He knew he ought to be focusing on what he would be saying to the Archivist if he was called, but at this moment, death seemed so close he could touch it, and besides, it was easier to accept failure than to dare to predict success. He’d never been especially superstitious, but imagining triumph now seemed like drawing a target on his back. No reason to offend the Egyptian gods. Not so early.

He stood up and walked the cell. Cold, barren, with bars and a flat stone shelf that pretended at being a bed. A bare toilet that needed cleaning, and the sharp smell of it was starting to squirm against his skin.

If I had something to read . . . The thought crept in without warning, and he felt it like a personal loss. Not having a book at hand was a worse punishment than most. He was trying not to think about his death, and he was too afraid to think about the fate of Morgan or Scholar Wolfe or anything else . . . except that he could almost hear Scholar Wolfe’s dry, acerbic voice telling him, If only you had a brain up to the task, Brightwell, you’d never lack for something to read.

Jess settled on the stone ledge, closed his eyes, and tried to clearly imagine the first page of one of his favorite books. Nothing came at his command. Just words, jumbled and frantic, that wouldn’t sort themselves in order. Better if he imagined writing a letter.

Dear Morgan, he thought. I’m trapped in a holding cell inside the Serapeum, and all I can think of is that I should have done better by you, and all of us. I’m afraid all this is for nothing. And I’m sorry. I’m sorry for being stupid enough to think I could outwit the Archivist. I love you. Please don’t hate me.

That was selfish. She should hate him. He’d sent her back into the Iron Tower, a life sentence of servitude and an unbreakable collar fastened tight around her neck. He’d deceived Scholar Wolfe into a prison far worse than this one, and an inevitable death sentence. He’d betrayed everyone who’d ever trusted him, and for what?

For cleverness and a probably foolish idea that he could somehow, somehow, pull off a miracle. What gave him the right to even think it?


That was the sound of a key turning in a heavy lock.

Jess stood, the chill on his back left by the ledge still lingering like a ghost, and then he came to the bars as the door at the end of the hall opened. He could see the hinges move and the iron door swinging in. It wasn’t locked again when it closed. Careless.

He listened to the decisive thud of footsteps against the floor, growing louder, and then three High Garda soldiers in black with golden emblems were in front of his cell. They stopped and faced him. The oldest—his close-cut hair a stiff silver brush around his head—barked in common Greek, “Step back from the bars and turn around.”

Jess’s skin felt flushed, then cold; he swallowed back a rush of fear and felt his pulse race in a futile attempt to outrun the inevitable. He followed the instructions. They didn’t lock the outer door. That’s a chance, if I can get by them. He could. He could sweep the legs out from under the first, use that off-balance body to knock back the other two, pull a sidearm free from one of them, shoot at least one, maybe two of them. Luck would dictate whether he’d die in the attempt, but at least he’d die fighting.

I don’t want to die, something in him that sounded like a child whispered. Not like Liam. Not on the same day.

And suddenly, he remembered.

The London sky, iron gray. Light rain had been falling on his child’s face. He’d been too short to see his brother ascend anything but the top two steps of the scaffold. Liam had stumbled on the last one, and a guard had steadied him. His brother had been shivering and slow, and he hadn’t been brave after all. He’d looked out into the crowd of those gathered, and Jess remembered the searing second of eye contact with his brother before Liam transferred that stare to their father.

Jess had looked, too. Callum Brightwell had stared back without a flicker of change in his expression, as if his eldest son was a stranger.

They’d tied Liam’s hands. And put a hood over his head.

A voice in the here and now snapped him out of the memory. “Against the wall. Hands behind your back.”

Jess slowly moved to comply, trying to assess where the other man was . . . and froze when the barrel of a gun pressed against the back of his neck. “I know what you’re thinking, son. Don’t try it. I’d rather not shoot you for stupidity.”

The guard had a familiar accent—raised near Manchester, most likely. His time in Alexandria had covered his English roots a bit, but it was odd, Jess thought, that he might be killed by one of his countrymen, so far from home. Killed by the English, just like Liam.
Once a set of Library restraints settled around his wrists and tightened, he felt strangely less shaken. Opportunity was gone now. All his choices had been narrowed to one course. All he had to do now was play it out.

Jess turned to look at the High Garda soldier. A man with roots from another garden, maybe one closer to Alexandria; the man had a darker complexion, dark eyes, a neat beard, and a compassionate but firm expression on his face. “Am I coming back?” he asked, and wished he hadn’t.

“Likely not,” the soldier said. “Wherever you go next, you won’t be back here.”

Jess nodded. He closed his eyes for a second and then opened them. Liam had faltered on the stairs. Had trembled. But at the end his elder brother had stood firm in his bonds and hood and waited for death without showing any fear.

He could do the same.

“Then, let’s go,” he said, and forced a grin he hoped looked careless. “I could do with a change of scenery.”


And now, for the giveaway! One winner will receive a mega prize pack (see below picture), and 30 other winners will receive a copy of the first book, Ink and Bone. So enter away at this link!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

(96) Top Ten Books I Disliked But am Glad I Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was started by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's topicBooks I Disliked/Hated but Am Really Glad I Read (maybe just for bragging rights)

I thought about tackling my most *hated* books, because I could do a whole post about those, tbh. But I decided to talk about the books I really thought I'd love, but just did not end up liking at all or feeling very meh about. (These books all got 2 or 2.5 stars from me! I very, very rarely give out 1 stars, actually). So yeah, I was sad about all of these stories!

1. Of Fire and Stars
As there are so few f/f fantasies, I about died when I got a copy of this at BEA one year. But ugh, I just felt very meh about the story and world and plot. The only bright spot was the characters, even if they did have long-ass terrible names.

2. Given to the Sea
Mindy is one of my faaaaves, so I expected to love it but omg maybe she should stick with non-fantasy books. I have no plans of reading the sequel either.

3. Lucky in Love
Kasie is also another favorite author of mine, but the only thing I really even liked about LIL was the love interest, Seth. Everything else was BLAH.

4. The Unbinding of Mary Reade
One of my most-anticipated of the year turned out to be a big disappointment. The writing was awkward, the characters were awkward, and the story was boring and staged weirdly. So much sadness.

5. The 100
Just. After falling so in love with the TV show, the book paled in comparison in every single aspect. Plot? Yup. Characters? 100%. The relationships? Ugh. I much, much prefer the show.

6. Out on Good Behavior
Another f/f book that almost broke my heart because it's by Dahlia and I wanted to love it so, so badly. But the romance just didn't Hit It for me.

7. Falling Kingdoms
One of the few super popular books I've actually straight-up disliked. I did not like any of the characters, and I found the story annoying and unoriginal. I think the worst was having to tell my cousin who loved it that I did not. Haha.

8. Fear the Drowning Deep
Insta-love, no plot, predictable, very meh. *sigh*

9. Catching Jordan
Miranda is such a beloved contemporary author, but I just did not like this book, especially the MC, Jordan. HOWEVER, I gave two other companion novels in this series a try and they were good, so I'm glad I kept going!

10. Reign the Earth
Ugh, I wanted to love this. And while there were some positives for me, the negative far out-weighed those, and I just did not care about this story.

What books made YOUR list this week? Did you also choose the ones that you're still glad you read or did you go for your most-hated? Also if you loved any of these books, I hope we can still be friends. Haha. :)

Monday, May 14, 2018

What I'm Currently Writing, Reading, and Watching

I'm still *slowly* rewriting my NaNo WIP. I wanted to be done with the draft in March... and then April... and well, now it's May and I'm only a little over 22k words. So, it's not good exactly, but I'm constantly working on it. I'd been unhappy with the chapter I was on, but I think I got the scene right for the moment, so I'm excited to move on once it's fully finished (still have to write a bit more of it). Progress is progress, yeah?

I'm also still slowly working on my Arthurian trilogy. I actually have plans for where the series will go, and I'm excited to get there. I LOVE it, but I haven't been writing the first book consistently enough. I'd love to finish this one this year too, but with how I've been doing for the almost first half of the year, I've not got a lot of faith in myself. But 2018 is still the year I'm pursuing my dream career of being an author, so I've got time. I just have to make the most of the rest of it, and I *can* do it if I work hard at it. I know this, so I'm kind of mad at myself that I'm still half-assing it, but again. I've got time.

I've been so moody with my reading choices lately that I've started and stopped so many books. So I currently have a fairly large list to share:

*The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde: it didn't hook me like Queens of Geek so I'd put it aside bc /mood/ so hopefully I get back to it soon because I lovedlovedloved QoG.

*Whisper of the Tide by Sarah Tolscer: I almost wish I'd reread the first book before starting this, but I just don't want to make the time for it? And also because this story is a bit on the slower side. But I'm definitely planning on reading it this month so I can review it for the publisher.

*The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty: I'm always hoping to finish this one on the weekends, but it's just so long, and sometimes dense. However, I really like it so far. I just need to give myself like a day to sink into it!

*Now a Major Motion Picture by Cori McCarthy: I honestly am having issues with the MC and she's the reason I haven't returned to it yet. But I do want to keep going bc I love that it's set in Ireland! Plus her little brother is so cute, and so is the possible love interest.

*To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo: really enjoyable, sassy, and very pirate-y, which makes me happy. I'd hoped to finish this one this weekend, but I don't know if that'll happen now that I started the below book! Haha.

*The King of Bourbon Street by Thea de Salle: this is SUPER entertaining so far, and I see myself finishing it later today!

While I'd waited to hear the Nine Nine news (Brooklyn Nine-Nine got picked up by NBC within a day after being cancelled by Fox because Twitter broke out in a rage, by the way), I started rewatching Timeless. I'd watched a few episodes awhile ago, but never kept up with it because I didn't have a way to watch it. But now that I have Hulu, I was able to get back to it. And omg it's SO GOOD. Like I'm currently watching the episode with Houdini and Holmes in it. Gah. It makes my history nerd heart happy. 

I also love that it poses some deep and serious questions and that it acknowledges things in the past that weren't okay (like slavery). It asks you how far you'd be willing to go to save someone you love. It wonders at the question: would you change history if you could? One of the main characters, Lucy, is so staunchly of the opinion that history should be kept the same, but Rufus and Wyatt (the other main characters) dabble in that gray area. But while chasing this asshole across time, they've all been put in difficult situations that truly test who they are as people. There is just like so much depth to these people and to the show, which I love. Rufus is a precious cinnamon roll, Wyatt is the gun-toting hardass who has a soft interior, and Lucy's the stubborn professor who can't stop fangirling over historical figures she loves (which same girl, saaaame). They're very different people, but they somehow WORK as a team, and they come to care for each other so much. I'm really into everything about this show, and I'm eagerly waiting news for its renewal. *crosses fingers*

What have you guys been up to lately? Any good shows/movies or books? Anything I *need* to see or read? Let's talk! :)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Fierce Reads Spring Tour Recap

I was so fucking happy when I learned that the Fierce Reads spring tour was coming to Michigan! And to Grand Rapids! As y'all know, I've lamented about the fact that publishers don't send authors here very often, so I feel like I got blessed with this event. Because I can drive to Schuler's! And it's Macmillan! BUT I was even more happy because Mary freaking Pearson was one of the authors on it, and guys, her Remnant Chronicles is one of my all-time favorite series. So I could NOT wait to meet her, as well Tricia Levenseller (wanted to meet the others too, but I hadn't read their books, so I focused more on Tricia and Mary). Anyway, I counted the days until March 8th.

I'm lucky with my job, because I was able to take the day off for it. (I could have gone into work, but I was like, well, I'd only be there for like 3 and a half hours, so what's the point? So I asked for it off, and my boss said yes). But when I was on my way, I forgot my fucking phone. So I had to go back for it, and good thing I left with PLENTY of time because omg what an anxious rush. But my friend Theresa saved a seat for me, which didn't even matter because when I got there, there were a lot of empty seats yet. It wasn't as packed as I'd expected, which was great! I felt like it gave us so much time to just *chat* with the authors after the Q&A session, which was SO much fun that I forgot to take notes! Arg. So I'm gonna try to remember as many of the highlights as I can.

  • Mary's upcoming release features a hate-to-love romance, and I am HERE FOR IT.
  • When asked who they'd date in their books, Tricia said Ryden, Maurene mentioned Clara's hot dad (The Way You Make Me Feel), and Mary was swooning over Jace (Dance of Thieves).
  • Tricia spent a vacation on an actual PIRATE SHIP-type cruise in the Bahamas, and omg I want to do that so badly.
  • Maurene said she always gravitates toward the relationships between family and friends first, and then the romances comes into play.
  • Mary and Maurene both mentioned Laini Taylor as one of their favorite authors (AGREED) and Tricia said Leigh Bardugo (again AGREED).
  • Taran's advice for writer's block: stop in the middle of a sentence. A paragraph. A page. Don't finish the chapter you're on, because the next time you start, you'll be staring at a new, blank one. And it's hard to start again.
  • When Mary got her first book deal call (or agent call?), she and her girls danced around the kitchen in excitement, which is a memory she'll never forget.
  • Favorite place to write: Taran said his bed, Tricia her couch, Mary loves writing on the back porch, and Maurene has to go to coffee shops with writer friends to hold herself accountable.
  • Maurene was hugely important to the process of getting Asian women on the covers of her latest books, which YES.
  • Taran actually likes to read reviews of his books, even the bad ones. When asked if he took advice from them, he said he did listen if he felt it was something he should change. 
  • Tricia had originally planned Pirate King/Siren Queen as a trilogy, and when Macmillan bought the series, they thought it should be a duology. And she ended up agreeing with that and was ultimately happy with it being two books.
  • Taran did a lot of writing on Wattpad before he was published, and he said it was great to have people continuously comment on the chapters and even message him being like, "where's the rest?" if he missed a day. It was super encouraging and made him want to keep going.
  • Maurene was asked about the relationship between Clara and her dad (The Way You Make Me Feel) and if it came from a personal place. She mentioned that she and her dad aren't as close as those two, but that they definitely have a sweet and loving relationship. She said it's easier for her to write than the mother/daughter ones because those are so complicated (which amen).
  • Maurene was asked to give flirting advice (she loves it and sometimes wishes she could hop in her friends' bodies to help them out). She said to take charge, that it always surprises boys. And to just be yourself.
  • Taran is British, so his accent is 🙌 (listen, I have priorities)
  • He was so funny and personable that I ended up buying the first book in his Summoner series (even though I hadn't thought I'd like it)
  • I also got Maurene's newest because I wanted to meet her, as well as get the cutest damn food truck pin ever.

After the session, the signings started! It was a little weird at first because I thought they were going to make us go down the line one-by-one and I didn't want to because I hadn't had Maurene's and Taran's books (but they had a lot of copies of the author's books, so I picked up the ones I wanted and didn't have so I wouldn't be empty-handed). But we all just kind of formed two big lines at either end, and then hopped from one author to another. Of course, I picked Mary first because she was my #1 priority. And when I got up to her, she was firstly so surprised because I'd brought my TKOD ARC with me, and secondly, because she'd recognized me!

I figured she would because we follow each other on Twitter, but she knew a lot about my blog too, which was super cool. But she was also just really excited to meet me that it made me feel so good. And she immediately gave me a hug. I was FLOORED. So I got to fangirl over the series with her and meet Brittany, a publicist from Macmillan whom I have worked with for a few years now. We talked Dance of Thieves, and then took pictures. It was the fucking *best* and it's up there with my top meeting-author moments for sure. I never truly expect to be recognized because authors get so many messages and tweets and whatnot daily that you feel as if you're just lost in the shuffle. So to get that sometimes? It's always wonderful. I'M SO HAPPY. She's one of my favorites, and it was just really special.

So like, after that, I was sort of freaking out internally. (Just ask my friends, I was DMing them so much. LOL). I waited a bit, and then Maurene's part of the table opened up, so I hopped over to it. She is so sweet! And then I met Taran and got a signed copy of his first book. I think he thought I was nervous, but I was probably still just A Mess after meeting Mary, tbh. But he was so cool, and he told me that he hopes I'll like it. I was kind of sad I didn't get pictures with either of them, but I was too shy to ask one of the people working the event to help. Anyway, there was a line for Tricia, so I had to wait a bit to meet her. (I DID get a picture with her, but I don't like my face in it. Haha). I told her that I loved her duology and that I'm excited for her next book. She was also funny and nice, and like, I just had such a fabulous time with this group! And it was so nice to see Theresa again and meet Makenna. I LOVE BOOK EVENTS!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

From the Den: April 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. :)


Compared to the last three months, I didn't read a whole lot in April. But I highly enjoyed all of these books below!

I enjoyed this a lot! I think it would've been better if the comic parts were spread throughout the book, but oh well, I liked the stories a lot more than them anyway. Everyone except Karuna Riazi were new-to-me authors, but I'd definitely read more from many of them. My favorites were A Gentle Push, Love God Herself, One Day, The Long Way Around, and Hijrah from the Harem. Such a sweet collection of love in all its forms!
Rating: 3.5 Paw Prints!

The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You
I didn't exactly fall in love with this. I think it was due to the fact that I just didn't care about Trixie and Ben as much as I cared about Peter and Meg and Cornell and Harper? (And even little Brandon). But I enjoyed it a hella lot, and this group of friends gave me ALL THE FEELS. And now I'm sad because I thought Not Now, Not Ever was a companion, and I'd like foolishly hoped it'd be a Peter/Meg coupling (I just like really wanted this so much, guys, Peter and Meg were my favorites). ANYWAY. I'm definitely here for more of Lily's books!
Rating: 3.5 Paw Prints!

The Near Witch
I'm apparently on a i-want-to-read-only-Victoria-Schwab-books-right-now kick, so I decided to grab this from my shelf and finally get to it. And I liked it! It just deeefinitely shows how far she's come as a writer. Haha. The world-building could've been better, the book could've been longer to allow relationships to have the proper amount of time to change and grow, it ended a bit too perfectly for my tastes. (I hate a lot of the villagers, I don't care if they did the right thing). But anyway, I didn't go into this expecting much from it, so I was pleasantly surprised. And of course, it had Victoria's style, which I lovelove. I'm glad I read it!
Rating: 3 Paw Prints!

Women Who Dared
Another awesome book about badass women of history and today!
Rating: 4 Paw Prints!

soft in the middle
I quite liked this, but it felt really all-over-the-place. There didn't seem to be a coherency, so while I enjoyed the poems, I missed a structure. However, I loved the messages of self-love and body acceptance!
Rating: 3 Paw Prints!

I also reread This Savage Song so I could finally finish the series (which utterly destroyed, thanks for asking) and a short story written by Roshani Chokshi about the wives of Bluebeard. What books did YOU read in April? Any absolutely amazing ones? Let's talk! :)