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Sunday, December 30, 2018

BEST BOOKS OF 2018!

You knew it was coming...
If you missed the first video and want more details on my faves from the first half of 2018, you can find that here!

Nearly all of the books listed, whether in the top or in the honorable mentions, has been reviewed! Click through to see full thoughts, where I've given them. I had things to say.



THE BOOKS:


[Reviews: Pride Guide  |  Namsara  |   Lies review to come]


[Reviews: Garden  |  Hearts  |  Keeper]


[Reviews: Kingdom  |  Realm  |  Dance]


[Review: Sadie  |  Tess  |  Silver]

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
(in no particular order)

Shout outs to Courtney Milan and Abigail Reynolds, both of whom I read a lot of this year!
Ummm, RANSACKER will definitely be in next year's faves, because I read it after this video, and it would have been in this one
Saga, vol 8
To All the Boys I've Loved Before / PS I Still Love You (linking the box set, which is a better deal)  [reviews]
Fiendish [review]
The Prince & the Dressmaker  [review]
Toxic  [review]
Seventh Born [review]
The Raging Ones [review]
Bloom [review to come]
Delilah Dirk & the Pillars of Hercules [review to come]
Toil & Trouble [review]
Spies, Lies & Allies [review]
The City on the Other Side [review]


Thursday, December 27, 2018

#30DayBookBinge Round 7!

It's almost that time again!
Kick off your year of reading right by joining me for the 7th 30 Day Book Binge! The goal is just to read -- something, anything -- daily; and if you feel like it, posting updates, encouraging others in their reading, making use of various 30DBB free printables, or even making a reading vlog! You do you.

For more info, visit bit.ly/30DayBookBinge

Need a reading motivation push? Check out my tips to read more!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

CHRISTMAS FREEBIES!

I had so many plans for end of the year posting around here, but of course, the end of the year got to me. But you can expect to see my Top Reads of '18 very soon (it has been recorded and edited and ready to go for half the month now, after all...), and a look back at some of my favorite posts and things from this year, among other things!

But until then, as my little gift to you this holiday season, I thought I'd give you all one last chance to grab any of the printables you may have missed from this year, including four sets of bookmarks (20 in total!), two versions of a "bookshelf" printable/coloring page that allows you to fill in the titles of books (that you've read; favorites; whatever you choose), and a couple of "Janeite" pieces from Austen in August! The next round of the 30 Day Book Binge kicks off January 1st, and with it comes  a new round of printables* — and all of these old designs will be officially retired. This is your last chance to snag 'em!

You can see some of the free printables in the image below (there's more!), and you can download them to print or save here!

free, freebies, printables, free printable, bookmarks, bookmarks designs, jane austen, reading printables, free book blog


* I haven't actually designed, or even brainstormed, the new designs, so if you have ideas or requests, leave them in the comments!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Backlist Love 11: Funk Breakers

I thought for the last BLL of 2018, we'd look at fun, engaging, quick reads to squeeze in during the holidays, or to get your 2019 reading off to a good start.
For more funk breaker picks & discussion:
http://www.thebookrat.com/2013/06/book-chat-beach-reads.html
http://www.thebookrat.com/search/label/funk%20breaker
http://www.thebookrat.com/2015/01/a-funky-kind-of-funk.html




Hex Hall, Rachel Hakins,  young adult, funk breakers, reading ruts, backlist love, booktube ya booksHEX HALL by Rachel Hawkins

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father—an elusive European warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.



'The Splendor Falls, Rosemary Clement-Moore, young adult, funk breakers, reading ruts, backlist love, booktube ya booksTHE SPLENDOR FALLS by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Can love last beyond the grave?

Sylvie Davis is a ballerina who can’t dance. A broken leg ended her career, but Sylvie’s pain runs deeper. What broke her heart was her father’s death, and what’s breaking her spirit is her mother’s remarriage—a union that’s only driven an even deeper wedge into their already tenuous relationship.

Uprooting her from her Manhattan apartment and shipping her to Alabama is her mother’ s solution for Sylvie’s unhappiness. Her father’s cousin is restoring a family home in a town rich with her family’s history. And that’s where things start to get shady. As it turns out, her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys that she can’t stop thinking about. Shawn Maddox, the resident golden boy, seems to be perfect in every way. But Rhys—a handsome, mysterious foreign guest of her cousin’s—has a hold on her that she doesn’t quite understand.

Then she starts seeing things. Sylvie’s lost nearly everything—is she starting to lose her mind as well?


After the Woods, Kim Savage, ya books, thrillers, young adult, funk breakers, reading ruts, backlist love, booktubeAFTER THE WOODS by Kim Savage

Would you risk your life to save your best friend?

Julia did. When a paroled predator attacked Liv in the woods, Julia fought back and got caught. Liv ran, leaving Julia in the woods for a terrifying 48 hours that she remembers only in flashbacks. One year later, Liv seems bent on self-destruction, starving herself, doing drugs, and hooking up with a violent new boyfriend. A dead girl turns up in those same woods, and Julia's memories resurface alongside clues unearthed by an ambitious reporter that link the girl to Julia's abductor. As the devastating truth becomes clear, Julia realizes that after the woods was just the beginning.


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?

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