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text 2015-11-03 19:52
Ten Young Adult Fantasy Books Not to Miss (Published in 2015)

So being a big young-adult novel reader, I get a lot of requests from friends asking ‘what book should I read?’ (I’m sure many of you do too). So, as I have done in previous years I thought I’d make a little list of young adult fantasy books (including sub-genres) that should not (under any circumstance) be missed that were released so far in 2015. I’m not really one for blurbing other’s books so I’ll link to their pages where you can check out the details. This is in descending order of how much I think they are ‘not to be missed.’

 

10) Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles #3) by Kresley Cole

So, this book is actually the third book in “The Arcana Chronicles.” This series is amazing, it’s magical-fantasy, dystopian, about as anxty of a romance as you get and just so all around awesome. However, even though it is classified as “young adult” it’s extremely gory and has explicit sex. This book in particular was fantastic, but not my all time favorite in the series. It’s still a five star read though and the series is a ‘miss it and suffer the consequences of never loving it’ series.

 

9) Six of Crows (The Dregs #1) by Leigh Bardugo

 

I know there are some that would cry foul that I even put this book as number nine on my list (it’s that good). However, even though it was amazing, I had a hard time getting into the book until about halfway through where it really picked up pace. The book is a fantasy that takes place in Ketterdam another region of Bardugo’s fictional land from her Grisha series. The book is about a team of ‘street rats’ (type) who go on a thought-impossible heist. There is violence and sexual references, some heavy concepts are brushed upon. Definitely a not to be missed book.

 

8) The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh

 

This was the review I wrote right after reading this book: “This book is full of angst, has somewhat of a love triangle, and a love story you feel down to your toes. I was not a big fan of the ending.” Unfortunately, while I remember really loving this book, there have been too many in between to really go into much detail. However, the book was very much a romance and full of tension and emotion. Even though after reading the premise, I didn’t think I would fall in love with this book I did. As I remember, there are some mild sex scenes and mild violence.

 

7) Darken the Skies (Kricket #3) by Amy A Bartol

So, I am obsessed with this series. It is a cross genre sci-fi/high fantasy/paranormal novel (sounds impossible, doesn’t it?). This particular book (again) wasn’t my favorite in the series but still one of my favorite books of the year. Maybe I’m just a little bitter because it looks like the series might be ending (No!!!!). However, this might be considered New Adult, there are definitely some sex scenes and they get somewhat explicit. I think the main character’s age is eighteen. Tons of anxt and romance and action and spaceships and magic.

6) Empire of Night (Age of Legend # 2) by Kelley Armstrong

This is another book where I remember LOVING it but the details are a little fuzzy (oh, well). This is the second book in a high fantasy series where the main characters are twins whose land is being taken over by a ghost-plague (If I remember correctly). It’s kind of Garth Nixish. If you don’t like Kelley Armstrong’s slow detailed style of writing, however, you will probably not like this series. I love Kelley Armstrong, I am a complete fangirl of her so…there you go. Not for everyone but if you like this kind of book, OMG it’s good.

5) Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J Maas

 

This is a very popular series (I probably don’t even need to tell you about it, huh?). But I do want to mention that the books start pretty typical YA then grow in scope and character development and world building. This book and series is definitely not to be missed.

 

4) A Book of Spirits and Thieves (Spirits and Thieves #1) by Morgan Rhodes

 

So this book is actually a paranormal off-shoot of Morgan Rhodes high fantasy series Falling Kingdoms. Falling Kingdoms is one of my favorite series but when I heard there was going to be paranormal off shoot I was like “Um, no way.” But thank goodness I did not pass it over! It was so good; dare I say that it was even better than Falling Kingdoms. This book does not need to be read after the other series though it does give you fun insight into what is going on. Just…just read it. Seriously.

 

3) Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Rosamund Hodge is the type of author that you either LOVE or don’t get and/or hate. I am firmly in the first category. LOVE is too small a word (even in all caps). She stretches the fantasy genre in the most delicious and amazing ways. And just the way she writes, like she’s painting a picture (in blood, sometimes). I love her work, I love this book. It is about a malicious forest that infects people into being murderers.

 

2) A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J Maas

 

I am a big fan of beauty and the beast rewrites and this is one of my favorites. Sarah J Mass just brings a lot of spunk and sensuality into the story. Her writing is just beautiful. This book also may be considered new adult.

 

  1. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

So this book was a gem among gems. It was the second book of 2015 I read about a sentient malicious forest, the other was Crimson Bound. I had never read a book with this type of 'evil' before but both books were spectacular and very different, and coincidentally two of my favorite books this far this year.

I'd actually go so far as to call this book the best epic fantasy book I've found since Daughter of the Forest by Juliette Marilier (maybe even better).

This novel was incredible. Almost perfect. The narrative, voice, pace, style, it was all flawlessly delivered.

The protagonist was one of my favorite literary characters ever. I was pretty much sold from the beginning but there's a scene pretty early on where she's pressured by the very mixed hero of the book who is titled the 'dragon' he keeps pressuring her to beautify herself but she defies him and says 'she doesn't owe him pretty.' It sounds way more trite with me writing it but I just loved that. That wasn't the only great thing about the MC, she grew as a person but never to please anyone really. She just rocked, 100%.

This book was tame in sexual content and violence. It was just amazing. Not to be Missed.

 

 

 

So there is my list, if you would like to add yours please comment below.

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quote 2015-07-10 02:46
“It's not like in the movies. It's better, because it's real.”
To All the Boys I've Loved Before - Jenny Han

― Jenny Han, To All the Boys I've Loved Before

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text 2015-07-07 13:18
Blog Tour # 7 - NAKED

 

 

 

***

Naked

by Stacey Trombley

Release Date: 07/07/15

Entangled Teen

305 pages

 

Summary from Goodreads:

A teenage prostitute looking for redemption must face her secrets before they destroy her…

When tough teenager Anna ran away to New York, she never knew how bad things would get. After surviving as a prostitute, a terrifying incident leaves her damaged inside and out, and she returns home to the parents she was sure wouldn't want her anymore.

Now she has a chance to be normal again. Back in school, she meets a boy who seems too good to be true. Cute, kind, trusting. But what will he do when he finds out the truth about her past? And when a dark figure from New York comes looking for Anna, she realizes she must face her secrets…before they destroy her.

 

Add to Goodreads

 

Buy Links:

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Excerpt #1:

 

There’s a strange tapping on my window. My heart pounds in my chest as I remember the last time. Nothing happened then, but I do sort of wish I had Zara with me now. 

 

I take a deep breath and tiptoe to the window and peer out. A happy face peers back at me. I blink and then slide open the window.  

 

What the hell are you doing here, Jackson?” His eyes are bright and alive, and I realize I’m very happy to see him.  

 

I want to show you something,” he says.  

 

Normal people come to the door, you know?” 

 

 He shrugs. “You told me your parents were strict—figured this was the safe way.”  

 

I shake my head. He’s crazy. And sneaking around my parents with a boy, even a boy as innocent as Jackson, probably isn’t the best idea in the world. Especially after what happened at dinner. I narrow my eyes. “Is it important?” 

 

 He nods eagerly, and I sigh. Good thing I didn’t change out of my school clothes yet.

Besides, the chances of my parents coming to my room are nonexistent. After that big speech, my dad will want to bask in his own glory while he gives me time to think over his “lesson.” I grab a pair of tennis shoes from my closet, flick off the light so my parents think I’m sleeping, and climb out the window.  

 

Okay, what’s so important?”  

 

He grabs my hand and laces his fingers through mine, which makes my heart patter in a completely idiotic way. And then he runs, pulling me with him. I notice he’s wearing a backpack. We run down the street and behind one of the houses, back to the field with the honeysuckles and my mini Central Park. 

 

Then we stop. The sky is a dark blue, but there’s still a little bit of light peeking out over the horizon. The field is right in front of us, with the little specks of lights flickering in the darkness. “Fireflies,” I say. 

 

Jackson turns to me, his eyes bright. “You are human!” he says with a sly smile that makes my stomach tumble. 

 

At least my cheeks don’t get hot. I do have some composure. “But they’re actually called lightning bugs.” 

 

What? You made that up.” 

 

Did not!”  

 

I laugh, and we both grow quiet and watch the little specks of light in the dark field.  

 

My family used to go camping in the summer when I was little,” I say. “My mom and I caught fireflies together. But we haven’t done it since I was eight or so.”  

 

What happened after that?” 

 

I don’t know. My dad started working more, we stopped talking to our cousins and even my grandparents for some reason, and my parents got stricter and stricter.” I shrug, wondering if that was actually the beginning of the end of my parents’ relationship, and I just hadn’t seen it. The same way they didn’t see the way those changes affected me. “That’s around the time that everything changed for me because they wouldn’t let me out to play with kids my age, and they stopped playing with me, too.” I’m telling him more than I’m supposed to.  

 

Loneliness sucks.”  

 

I nod.  

 

He takes off his backpack and pulls out a jar. “Maybe we can make her a present.”  

 

My mom? You don’t think she’ll say they’re too…you know…childish?” 

 

 He takes my hand. “Maybe. But maybe she needs to remember what it was like when things were good.” 

 

What do you mean?”  

 

Just some things you’ve said… It sounds like you guys haven’t been happy in a long time.” He’s right. It’s been a long time since we were happy. Not just me. My mom.

 

My dad.  

 

Then he tugs on my hand and brings me into the field, thankfully saving me from having to confirm or deny anything. I wonder why they’re even still here, the fireflies. It’s September; aren’t they usually gone by now? There aren’t as many as there are in the spring and summer, but there’s enough for me to catch about ten in Jackson’s jar.

When we’re finished, he pokes tiny holes in the lid of the jar and hands it to me. We walk back to where he left his backpack, and I set my jar down.  

 

Is the night over?” he asks, his eyes alight with something else. Something very unchildish, and it kind of scares me. My whole body feels alive. At his look, heat rises into my cheeks. Thankfully, it’s too dark for him to see. I don’t know what Jackson and I are, but I do know that I don’t want to go home. Not yet. 

 

Playlist:

Naked Playlist 

 

The day Taylor Swift pulled her songs from Spotify was the day my book playlist went to die. Good thing I was already finished writing and almost all the edits were done at that point. I remember having one edit left and I had to make a youtube playlist because without Taylor Swift, the playlist is seriously lacking. 

 

I had four major songs that set the tone for this book (only one of them isn’t a Taylor Swift song). Songs that fit different aspects so perfectly they felt like they were made for it, made to help me along (one of which, I swear, could be the theme song). Here is a list of my most important playlist songs and some of the lyrics that struck me the most (because, let’s face it, it’s the lyrics that makes these songs so great for Anna’s story) 

 

 1) Dear John by Taylor Swift 

 

Dear John, I see it all now that you're gone. 

Don't you think I was too young 

To be messed with? 

The girl in the dress 

Cried the whole way home 

I should've known. 

 

2) Begin Again by Taylor Swift 

 

I've been spending the last eight months 

Thinking all love ever does is break and burn and end 

But on a Wednesday in a cafe I watched it begin again 

 

 3) Whore by In This Moment  

 

You probably thought I wouldn't get this far 

You thought I'd end up in the back of a car 

You probably thought that I'd never escape 

I'd be a rat in a cage, I'd be a slave to this place 

You don't know how hard I fought to survive, 

Waking up alone when I was left to die 

You don't know about this life I've lived, 

All these roads I've walked 

All these tears I've bled 

 

4) Innocent by Taylor Swift 

 (I could quote this whole song but I’ll stick to just a tid bit;) ) 

 

Did some things you can't speak of 

But at night you live it all again 

You wouldn't be shattered on the floor now 

If only you had seen what you know now then 

... 

It's alright, just wait and see 

Your string of lights is still bright to me 

Oh, who you are is not what you've been 

You're still an innocent 

 

 Some other songs on the play list: 

 

Rise by Shawn Mcdonald 

Runaway by Linkin Park 

Torn to Pieces by Pop Evil 

Somewhere Inbetween by Lifehouse 

Lean On Me by DC Talk 

Through Glass by Stone Sour 

Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars 

Never Too Late by Three Days Grace 

Psycho by Puddle Of Mud 

Fearless by DC Talk 

 

 

 

About the Author:

 

Stacey Trombley lives in Ohio with her husband and the sweetest Rottweiler you’ll ever meet. She thinks people are fascinating and any chance she has, she’s off doing or learning something new. She went on her first mission trip to Haiti at age twelve and is still dying to go back. Her “places to travel” list is almost as long as her “books to read” list. 

 

She wants to bring something new to the world through her writing, but just giving a little piece of herself is more than enough. 


Keep a look out for her debut novel NAKED, coming from Entangled Teen in 2015

 

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

 

Rafflecopter GIVEAWAY:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjM0OGI5ZGJmNWUwNzllYTYzNjAyYzhhZGU0MDc0OjUxOQ==/?

 

Book Blitz Organized by:

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review 2013-10-10 13:29
The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney
The Brokenhearted - Amelia Kahaney
3/5 Stars

The Brokenhearted
Author: Amelia Kahaney
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: October 8, 2013

 
Review:
I have seen a slew of negative reviews for The Brokenhearted and for the first time in a while I am happily in the minority because I liked this novel. 
 
Anthem is a prima ballerina; she is the dutiful daughter her rich, absentee parents always wanted. Anthem’s life changes completely when she meets Gavin at a party on the South Side. She is caught up in a whirlwind romance that culminates in Gavin being kidnapped, Anthem dying, and then her waking up with a new bionic heart. 
 
I liked Anthem, at times she was a bit whiney but given her upbringing as the richest girl in town I’m surprised she wasn’t constantly crying and falling all over herself. We all know YA heroines that do this even if they don’t come from a privileged upbringing. Actually when you look at Anthem’s surroundings I’m surprised she is as well adjusted as she comes off in the novel. 
 
The romance between Anthem and Gavin was totally instant love, if their love was a food it would be minute rice, done in a minute and it tastes terrible the next day. I didn’t hate it though because from the outset you know that is how the relationship is going to be. Anthem has to fall for Gavin quick so that we can get to the heart (pun completely intended) of the story. It was actually the relationship Anthem develops with another character, Ford, that I really enjoyed. It’s not necessarily romantic but Ford becomes something like a mentor to Anthem as she tries to figure out what exactly her new heart can do. 
 
I will admit that there were some problems I had with the story. There wasn’t much world building, or really any to be honest. We are tossed in to this crumbling city with a huge dichotomy between rich and poor and not really given any reason for the collapse. I was able to get over this lack of world building by just assuming the city is Gotham. My other problem was that the whole bionic heart thing was never adequately explained. I expected some fancy pseudo-scientific explanation instead it’s like here’s a new heart. I also overcame this by making up my own scientific explanation. In my head the scientist was able to synthesize the heart with a hummingbird’s because aliens taught her how. Hey, that’s how it works on Ancient Aliens on History Channel why can’t it work here to? 
 
Overall, even though I had some problems with the story it was a quick, enjoyable read, just don’t over think the story too much. It was predictable, but I kind of enjoyed it for that reason. The ending leaves a lot of different plot lines open and I’m looking forward to seeing if Kahaney continues because there was definitely a lot of potential here. 
 
An Advanced Readers copy of this novel was provided by HarperTeen via Edelweiss for review purposes.
Source: www.fallingforya.com/2013/10/the-brokenhearted-by-amelia-kahaney.html
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