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Monday, December 17, 2018

The NISSERA CHRONICLES Books | *spoiler free* review!

Today I'm talking about two fairytale-inspired stories from Hannah West, and just. . . Keep an eye out for my Best of 2018, I'm just saying...
SPOILER-FREE for both books!
And if you want to give the world a try for FREE, you can pick up the short story, Fields of Fire!





About the Books:

THE KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS by Hannah West
Print Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication Date: September 15, 2016
Welcome to Nissera, land of three kingdoms and home to spectacular magic.

Bristal, a sixteen-year-old kitchen maid, finds herself in a gritty fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she has elicromancer magic in her blood. Elicromancers are an ancient breed of immortal people, but only two remain in Nissera after a bloody civil war. Bristal joins their ranks without knowing that one of them has a dark secret . . . Tamarice is plotting a quest to overthrow the realm's nobility and take charge herself. Together, Bristal and Brack must guard the three kingdoms of Nissera against Tamarice's black elicromancy. There are princesses to protect, royal alliances to forge, and fierce monsters to battle—all with the hope of preserving peace.

With clever homages to Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Hannah West makes a fast-paced, exciting, and wholly original debut. The Nissera Chronicles continue with Fields of Fire, a short story set against the events of Kingdom of Ash and Briars, and Realm of Ruins, a gripping companion novel.


REALM OF RUINS by Hannah West
Print Length: 461 pages
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication Date: December 4, 2018
Welcome to Nissera, land of three kingdoms and home to spectacular magic.

A century after her legendary ancestors overcame a bloodthirsty tyrant, seventeen-year-old Valory Braiosa attends a training academy for elicromancers, immortal beings with magical gifts. Yet Valory’s immense power seems impossible to tame, and she faces imprisonment by the Nisseran authorities. Then a forbidden resurrection spell awakens a long-dormant evil, and Valory may be the only one who can vanquish this terrifying villain. Together with a band of allies—including an old friend; a haughty princess; and a mysterious, handsome stranger—Valory must learn to harness her power and fight back.

Weaving together her imaginative world of magic with snippets from Beauty and the Beast and other classic stories, Hannah West’s gritty adventure is a thrilling, immersive companion to her acclaimed debut. Read this first and then discover the rest of Nissera or start with Kingdom of Ash and Briars—either way, you’ll love the journey.

Richly packaged hardcover edition includes an illustrated family tree, detailed map of Nissera, and embossed jacket with shimmering metallic effects.

Friday, December 7, 2018

NOVEMBER HAUL

Heyyy, I'ma be super over-ambitious for a month as crazy as December, because why not?
I'm also giving you a quick wrap-up of what I read in November (I don't even know what happened... but judging by these first few days of December, I don't think it's over).
Keep an eye out this weekend for a review of 3 recent reads (1 I loved, 1 I liked, and 1 I had some serious issues with...)!



BOOKS MENTIONED:

        

ALSO MENTIONED: First Impressions & teaser of Borrowed

TOXIC // CITY OF GHOSTS // HEARTS UNBROKEN

This is a "short" (lolol I thought I tried, but that last all of zero seconds) look at 3 books I've read recently, 1 of which I loved, 1 of which I liked, and 1 of which I had some definite problems.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!




Toxic by Lydia Kang


Hana isn't supposed to exist. She's grown up hidden by her mother in a secret room of the bioship Cyclo until the day her mother is simply gone—along with the entire crew. Cyclo tells her she was abandoned, but she's certain her mother wouldn't leave her there to die. And Hana isn't ready to die yet. She's never really had a chance to live.

Fenn is supposed to die. He and a crew of hired mercenaries are there to monitor Cyclo as she expires, and the payment for the suicide mission will mean Fenn's sister is able to live. But when he meets Hana, he's not sure how to save them both.

As Cyclo grows sicker by the day, they unearth more secrets about the ship and the crew. But the more time they spend together, the more Hana and Fenn realize that falling for each other is what could ultimately kill them both.


City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
Ever since Cass almost drowned (okay, she did drown, but she doesn't like to think about it), she can pull back the Veil that separates the living from the dead . . . and enter the world of spirits. Her best friend is even a ghost.

So things are already pretty strange. But they're about to get much stranger.

When Cass's parents start hosting a TV show about the world's most haunted places, the family heads off to Edinburgh, Scotland. Here, graveyards, castles, and secret passageways teem with restless phantoms. And when Cass meets a girl who shares her "gift," she realizes how much she still has to learn about the Veil -- and herself.

And she'll have to learn fast. The city of ghosts is more dangerous than she ever imagined.


Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith
ew York Times best-selling author Cynthia Leitich Smith turns to realistic fiction with the thoughtful story of a Native teen navigating the complicated, confusing waters of high school — and first love.

When Louise Wolfe’s first real boyfriend mocks and disrespects Native people in front of her, she breaks things off and dumps him over e-mail. It’s her senior year, anyway, and she’d rather spend her time with her family and friends and working on the school newspaper. The editors pair her up with Joey Kairouz, the ambitious new photojournalist, and in no time the paper’s staff find themselves with a major story to cover: the school musical director’s inclusive approach to casting The Wizard of Oz has been provoking backlash in their mostly white, middle-class Kansas town. From the newly formed Parents Against Revisionist Theater to anonymous threats, long-held prejudices are being laid bare and hostilities are spreading against teachers, parents, and students — especially the cast members at the center of the controversy, including Lou’s little brother, who’s playing the Tin Man. As tensions mount at school, so does a romance between Lou and Joey — but as she’s learned, “dating while Native” can be difficult. In trying to protect her own heart, will Lou break Joey’s?

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

December TBR + quick November wrap-up

Heyyy, I'ma be super over-ambitious for a month as crazy as December, because why not?
I'm also giving you a quick wrap-up of what I read in November (I don't even know what happened... but judging by these first few days of December, I don't think it's over).
Keep an eye out this weekend for a review of 3 recent reads (1 I loved, 1 I liked, and 1 I had some serious issues with...)!



BOOKS MENTIONED:
a bunch of Courtney Milan books (I'll talk about these soon, maybe)
                

ALSO MENTIONED:
Berserker review: http://www.thebookrat.com/search/label/Berserker

Holiday YA* Book-Giving Gift Guide: The Special Stuff

*Fair warning, this post contains affiliate links, because of course it does. Thanks for helping support this blog!*


I know there are a million gift guides out there every year, and maybe you don't feel like you need another one, but when it comes to the cast and varied world of books, there can never be too many suggestions or recommendations, IMO. So every year I mean to give you a gift guide of my recs, but this year, I'm actually doing it.
And I'm starting off with the good stuff.

Alright, it's all gonna be good stuff. 
But this list features the most giftable of the young adult and middle grade goods, being boxed sets and special editions. The things that make a reader ooh and ahh.

ALL IMAGES ARE CLICKABLE!

And so:
There's another Harry Potter boxed set, because of course there is. Did that sound bitter? Because I'm not bitter. My wallet is bitter, but I'm not bitter. But it's actually a pretty great deal, especially for a Big Impressive Gift, and the box design is aces.
(The beautiful set that I have, that tells me I don't need another, is marked down, btw.)



Gifters may also be interested in: the illustrated HP boxed set, the Percy Jackson series set (fantastic deal!), the Artemis Fowl set, the Land of Stories, or the good old fashioned Chronic(what!)cles of Narnia



      


If the kid (or adult human) you're buying for is a little smartypants, they might enjoy the Mysterious Benedict Society books, or if they're a little more whimsical, they might just love this Wildwood Chronicles set (so beautiful! And such a steal!)
 

I came across a few new-to-me sets in my endless browsing that have since been added to my own look-into list, among them, The Wild Robot (oh! such a beautiful design)


Did you really think I wouldn't be recommending the Zita the Spacegirl boxed set? I will never stop singing the praises of these books.


Gifters might also be interested in: the Amulet series set, the Last Kids on Earth set, the Olympians set, or for those still Pokemon Go -obsessed, the Pokemon set.

     

For the voracious reader, there's a 13-book Lemony Snicket set, 15-book Roald Dahl set, a 25-book set of Magic Treehouse books (!), and a set of newly-released Babysitter's Club books, which, while a mere six books, it also comes in a retro tin (the nostalgia!)
    

Also, before I move onto YA, I don't know if anyone in the younger crowd reads Nancy Drew anymore, but shout out to this gorgeously designed box set.

FOR THE YA CROWD, there is a ton of stuff out there. A ton.
So I'll save all the preamble and just share with you a few of the crowd-pleasers, personal recommendations, and deals to good to pass up.

  



Maybe you don't want a whole damn box full of heavy books to gift (or $end) this year, but just one super-impressive special edition of something, well... special.
Ahem:


You can't tell, but that copy of THUG is shiny, shiny goooold. And, okay, I suppose the John Green set could rightly go in the box sets category, and you're probably wondering, 'Misty, why did you put that here?' But that little box of books is a little box of books -- they're mini! They feature the complete text, on ultra-thin paper and teeny enough to fit in a pocket or stocking, so, special enough for the "special" section, I think.)


Make sure to check back soon for my list of personal recommendations for this year; the things I like, the things I want... It also, not coincidentally, features a bit of a sneak peek at my Best of 2018 list, tbh (but since that won't be out in time for all of your gift-giving needs, I figured I'd better get a good word in there for a bunch of those lovely books — and then some — while I can).

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