Book Hauls · bookish talk

Book Haul and Other Things

Heya all!

You know you have the best boyfriend when he actually tells you to stop doubting and take the books home from the store, and walks away to the counter really fast as soon as you put the books in his arms…🥰

In other words, we went to the bookstore to celebrate me being done with my firs semester of this year! And, because it’s been a really stressful period, again, we wanted to do something nice together in the four days that I now have between last Wednesday and next Monday. Lucky me for not having exams on Thursday and Friday as well.

However, I bought books! Lots of them actually! Yay!

My Haul:

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(yes, for me, this is a lot of books to get at once because I never find time to read and when I do, I’m too tired and I’ll fall asleep before I can even think about opening a book 😭 )

Strange Planet by Nathan W Pyle is a comic book I’d been wanting to buy for my boyfriend for a while, and when I saw it in the store, I held it up for him to see. As soon as I did that, I remembered I wanted to gift it and basically told him “you have not seen this, you have no idea what I have here” 😅

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The Young Elites by Marie Lu is a book I’ve been wanting ever since I’ve had Warcross, but this was the first time I actually had seen the matching version! Matte cover with shiny text, and the right format as well! 🤩

Call Down The Hawk and The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I actually read The Scorpio Races earlier as a young teen, borrowed from the library! Just like the Wolves of Mery Falls series haha. Call Down The Hawk only recently got published and I’ve been looking at The Scorpio Races for many times now so I thought I’d just bring both of them now 😂

And last but not least: Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto and The Crown’s Game bt Evelyn Skye. And no, it’s not intended they both have the word Crown in the title 😂 Both of these are books I’ve looked at and doubted over many times before, and this was actually the first time I’ve seen Crown of Feathers in the paperback version!

And that’s all!

Although there’ll be many more times with many more hauls, this tiny one was one I wanted to share with you all🥰

Tell me how you like my blog!

As you may have noticed, I’ve changed my blog a bit, I finally (FINALLY) uploaded the header I wanted for so long (ok not the one I actually had planned because that didn’t work out sadly) and I’m really happy I finally did it. I now have a blog header and a header for my posts, and I hope to be fixing more small things soon!

But if you’d want to, do let me know if you like this style! Tell me how to improve, I’d love to hear all your ideas and experiences 🥰

On the blog soon….

I hope! I finished This Mortal Coil last night (and OH MY WHAT THE HECK) and I want to review it soon! I’ve also read quite some other books I haven’t yet reviewed so I’ll see how much time I have, and most of all… how much I remember from what I’ve read this year 😅😂

Let me know if you liked these books, or if maybe they’re still on your TBR as well!

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


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Book reviews

Book review: A Thousand Fires (Blog Tour)

Hey all!

Today I bring you a book review of a book that I requested an excerpt from at Netgalley, and really liked it so I also requested the full ARC, and signed up for the blog tour. Luckily, it did not disappoint so here I am!

This book tour is hosted by Tale Out Loud (link) and Afire Pages (link).

Title: A Thousand Fires

Author: Shannon Price

Goodreads / Book Depository / Wordery

TW: heavy drinking, drugs use, self-harm (mentions and on-page), gun violence

A Thousand Fires by Shannon Price

Summary: Valerie is a girl who has lost her younger brother to the Wars two years earlier, and since then, she’s determined to avenge him by joining the Herons. Too bad for her, the Stags get to her first on the night of her eighteenth birthday, and she becomes a Stag. Still, she wants revenge for her brothers death. Together with the rest of the Stags, she finds out what the life in a gang really looks like, how the rules work, and what it will cost her.

I requested an excerpt on Netgalley and really liked it, so when I got approved for the whole ARC, I was happy, but also afraid it’d disappoint. This is a book I’d not pick up myself as easily, which shows that Netgalley can be really useful to stimulate readers. The idea of the gangs intrigued me, especially since there isn’t a lot explained in the first part of the book.

Valerie’s one and only goal is to avenge her brother, which I do respect, but sometimes I wish I could slap her since her actions are not always as easy as she thought they would be. I read this book in almost one sitting (considering I have school during the day and I do have to sleep sometimes, I read it quite fast), and flew through the story.

I loved the friendships that formed in the book, the feeling of a gang being “home” for most of the members, and most of all, the feeling of family. The feelings of guilt (as she thought it was her fault her brother died) eat up Valerie so much, she sometimes harms herself. The gang helps her to think of other things, which takes away the urge sometimes.

There is definitely diversity representation in this book, although not a lot of LGBTQ+ rep, and while that’s not a must, I wish it would have been more than one sentence.

The story was strong, and there were definitely some parts I didn’t see coming. Overall I really liked it, and would definitely recommend it. I didn’t specifically see the “retelling” part, but that might just be me…

And last, but definitely not least: the cover is gorgeous, as with most books that tend to attract me.. ^^;

 

Author info

Shannon Price is a YA author living in the San Francisco Bay Area. After graduating from Santa Clara University with a degree in English, she interned and later worked for Counterpoint Press in Berkeley, CA. As a publicist at Counterpoint, she garnered coverage for her clients’ books in media outlets like the New York TimesWashington PostWall Street JournalEntertainment Weekly, and many more.

In 2014, she was accepted into the Scottish Universities’ International Summer School at the University of Edinburgh where she studied Creative Writing and Contemporary Literature under the tutelage of best-selling Irish writer Ruth Gilligan. In college, she worked as the Art Editor of the Santa Clara Review and represented the Review at AWP 2015 in Minneapolis, MN. She was a mentor in the second round of Author Mentor Match and regularly attends writing events around the Bay Area.

Find her on: Website / Twitter / Instagram

 

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


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bookish talk

Book Blitz: The Memory Thief, Q&A + giveaway!

Hello all!

Today I’ll bring you something exciting: The Memory Thief, a book that’s been published on October 1st, and definitely seems worth checking out!

Title: The Memory Thief
Author:  Lauren Mansy
Published by: Blink
Publication date: October 1st 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Goodreads / Book Depository / Wordery

TMT

Summary: In the city of Craewick, memories reign. The power-obsessed ruler of the city, Madame, has cultivated a society in which memories are currency, citizens are divided by ability, and Gifted individuals can take memories from others through touch as they please.

Seventeen-year-old Etta Lark is desperate to live outside of the corrupt culture, but grapples with the guilt of an accident that has left her mother bedridden in the city’s asylum. When Madame threatens to put her mother up for auction, a Craewick practice in which a “criminal’s” memories are sold to the highest bidder before being killed, Etta will do whatever it takes to save her. Even if it means rejoining the Shadows, the rebel group she swore off in the wake of the accident years earlier.

To prove her allegiance to the Shadows and rescue her mother, Etta must steal a memorized map of the Maze, a formidable prison created by the bloodthirsty ruler of a neighboring Realm. So she sets out on a journey in which she faces startling attacks, unexpected romance, and, above all, her own past in order to set things right in her world.

Sounds awesome, right?!

Author Q&A with Lauren Mansy

  • What was it like to write your first book and have it published?

Incredible! It’s been such a wonderful journey filled with many sweet moments. I began writing over seven years ago, and it’s definitely surreal that The Memory Thief is now on shelves! As of late, there have been quite a few teary moments—and I’m totally not a crier! I’m truly overwhelmed by every kind word, the support, and the willingness to walk alongside me as The Memory Thief has gone from something imagined to a real book. I couldn’t be more excited to share this story with readers! 

 

  • What was your inspiration behind TMT?

When I was a teenager, my mom was diagnosed with a heart condition, which led to an unexpected heart surgery. On the way to the operating room, her heart stopped six times, and the doctors warned my family that it was unlikely she’d survive. And if she did, she may not remember us due to the trauma she’d experienced throughout the entire ordeal. 

I was sitting at her bedside when she first began to stir after her surgery, and I slipped my hand into hers and told her that it was me. Then she began to squeeze my hand three times, our signal for I love you! That’s my most favorite memory because I’d never felt such fear suddenly overcome by the most incredible joy. That collision of emotions was the moment which first sparked the idea for The Memory Thief

Ever since then, I always struck by how memories make up so much of our identity and influence our relationships with others. It terrified me that my mom wouldn’t remember me, but I’m so thankful to say that she made a full-recovery. Though it was long and difficult process, she never gave up hope that things would one day get better. Her unwavering courage inspired me to want to share this story. 

 

  • What kind of impact did writing TMT have on you personally?

Writing TMT has had a huge impact on me. I first began writing after completing treatments for Hodgkin’s Disease, a form of lymphatic cancer. It was a very difficult time in my life, and writing fiction helped me express myself in ways that I’d never done before. It helped me process through some of my most difficult memories. 

When I first began drafting The Memory Thief, I realized there were still some emotions about being faced with the possibility of losing my mom that I’d yet to express out loud. Writing this book proved to be a source of healing, and a wonderful platform for exploring truth in my own life through a backdrop of fiction. 

This story is very dear to my heart, and reflecting back on the process of writing this book is what made the moment of holding it in my hands so amazing. 

 

  • What is your favorite part about TMT?

I think my favorite part is the relationship that Etta has with her mother. 

Gwendolyn was one of my favorite characters to write because she’s full of opposites. Because of her coma, she hasn’t spoken a word in four years yet that entire time, she’s been teaching Etta how important it is never to give up, even when all the odds are stacked against you. 

On her journey to save her mother, Etta discovers that Gwendolyn’s story is intertwined with Etta’s in ways that she never imagined. Writing this aspect of the plot was so much fun, and definitely one of my favorite parts of the drafting process, as well! 

 

  • What do you hope readers take away from TMT?

The main thing I hope readers take away is that it isn’t the hardships of the past which define us but the strength we find in overcoming them. Etta has been through a lot of difficult things, and she struggles with trusting others because she has a hard time trusting herself. At the beginning of the story, Etta has spent four years hiding from both the people and events which haunt her, but to save her mother, she’ll have to come face-to-face with the past. I hope her journey will inspire readers to never lose hope, even in the midst of impossible odds. 

 

  • How are you reflected in TMT (or, how much of you is reflected in the book)?

Because this story is based on my own journey with my mother, many of Etta’s worries, doubts, and fears are things I also experienced when faced with the possibility of losing my mom. The questions that Etta asks about how to deal with a situation like this are questions that I often pondered myself. 

So when I first began writing TMT, I thought, “What if I wasn’t the only one who faced this fear? What if there was an entire society that feared their loved ones no longer remembering them?” It was these kinds of thoughts which ultimately let me to want to explore a world where memories reign over everything. Then writing Etta’s emotional journey also helped me process through a lot of my own memories, as well. 

That’s one reason that I love not only writing but reading fantasy novels. Even though these characters live in worlds that are vastly different than our own, what they love, hate, and fear can often be so relatable. That often sticks with me long after I read the last page, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to share this journey with readers. 

 

  • What is your favorite thing to do to promote your book?

My favorite thing has been getting to know readers. I had the privilege of attending BEA and ALA this past summer, and I loved meeting librarians, educators, fellow writers, bloggers, and industry professionals. Writing can often be a solitary venture, but the publishing process has been filled with creating some wonderful relationships. I couldn’t be more grateful for this community!

 

  • Why should readers be sure to place TMT on their TBR list?

The Memory Thief is a book full of secrets, lies, and betrayal. It’s set in a world where memories are currency, people are struggling to hold onto their true identity, and nothing is quite what it seems. And Etta is a very flawed character. She has a lot of regret and has made many mistakes, yet she never stops fighting to save her loved ones. If any these things appeal to you, I hope you’ll consider adding TMT to your TBR! 

 

  • What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned while being a writer?

I think the biggest lesson being a writer has taught me is the importance of the “story behind the story”. Though the publication journey is filled with exciting moments (like seeing the cover for the first time and holding the final copy!), the journey of getting here has changed me for forever. There have been highs and lows, moments of uncertainty coupled with unexpected encouragement, and wonderful support from family, friends, and even strangers! Writing fiction gave me a voice when I was still struggling to find mine, and I’ll be forever grateful that even as the last page of The Memory Thief ends, my own life story is still being written 🙂 

 

  • Additional thoughts?

If you’re interested in learning more about The Memory Thief, I have more information of my website, and I also LOVE connecting with readers! 

Bonus: Giveaway for The Memory Thief!

As a bonus, you can win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a digital copy of The Memory Thief, enter using this link or just paste this into your browser: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233304/

Are you interested in The Memory Thief? Did you read it already? Let me know!

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


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Book reviews

Book review: Beasts of the Frozen Sun (Xpresso Book Tours)

Hi all!
Today I bring you a review I should have posted yesterday, but I had it all scheduled up and ready to post when I wanted to change some sentences, and then I (too late) realized I didn’t schedule it for posting again, so here it still is!
Thanks to Netgalley and Xpresso Book Tours for providing me with a digital copy for reviewing. This did not affect my personal opinion of the book in any matter.
Title: Beasts of the Frozen Sun (Frozen Sun Saga #1)
Author: Jill Criswell
Publication date: August 6th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Tw: mentions of rape, suicide.
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Summary: Burn brightly. Love fiercely. For all else is dust.

Every child of Glasnith learns the last words of Aillira, the god-gifted mortal whose doomed love affair sparked a war of gods and men, and Lira of clan Stone knows the story better than most. As a descendant of Aillira and god-gifted in her own right, she has the power to read people’s souls, to see someone’s true essence with only a touch of her hand.

When a golden-haired warrior washes up on the shores of her homeland–one of the fearful marauders from the land of the Frozen Sun–Lira helps the wounded man instead of turning him in. After reading his soul, she realizes Reyker is different than his brethren who attack the coasts of Glasnith. He confides in her that he’s been cursed with what his people call battle-madness, forced to fight for the warlord known as the Dragon, a powerful tyrant determined to reignite the ancient war that Aillira started.

As Lira and Reyker form a bond forbidden by both their clans, the wrath of the Dragon falls upon them and all of Glasnith, and Lira finds herself facing the same tragic fate as her ancestor. The battle for Lira’s life, for Reyker’s soul, and for their peoples’ freedom has only just begun.

 

First of all; the cover! As always, I am a cover-lover at it’s finest and this one instantly caught my attention!

I really liked how the book sounded when I first heard of it, and was definitely intrigued. The story about a girl who is god-gifted, but doesn’t like how she has to use it, about a boy from strange lands who she should hate but can’t.. it definitely sounded right up my alley.

I mostly liked the book, I thought the way the world worked is amazing and well-thought, and the combination of that world in the world of Lira herself, with her clan, her family and friends, it came together so well.

Lira is a character I found difficult to like sometimes, as she is definitely powerful, not only because of her gift, but also because of the swordfighting she’s able to do. I am always up for strong female characters and she surely is one. The only thing I sometimes didn’t like was the choices she made. Of course, that’s part of the story but I just felt like she chose too much for Reyker where she “told” me she cared so much for her family.

Reyker is a boy who Lira should hate, for various reasons, but for some reason, she is unable to. Instead, she saves him from death and patches him up in secret. She talks to him, cares for him, and slowly learns to communicate with him. There is a certain kind of darkness in him that she sometimes refuses to accept, however, later in the book it is explained. He keeps telling her she should not help him, even tries to refuse her help, to attack her for helping him, but nothing stops her.

Lira’s family and clan is something I don’t usually read a lot about in the books I read, but from the beginning on, it’s clear how things work there. The clan has a chieftain, and the clan listens to the chieftain. And no one is there to stop that in any other way than challenging the chieftain to a duel for the position. I personally find that difficult yo read about sometimes because I’m all for own opinions and voices, but it fit with the book very well.

The story was intriguing, and I found myself wondering what would happen next many times. Although at some point I expected something would go wrong, and then got better again, and I got it right, I still really liked reading the book. There are some mentions of things in the book that might be triggers, so I put trigger warnings in my review. I personally was not affected by them.

I wonder what the gods have in mind for Lira and Reyker and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series!

About the author

Jill

Jill Criswell is a writer of Young Adult Historical Fantasy. She was born and raised in the swamps of northeastern Florida. She earned degrees in English and Psychology and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. Her greatest passion, besides reading and writing, is traveling the world; she’s visited fifty countries across six continents, falling in love with places like Iceland, Namibia, and Cambodia. She works as a university English teacher and lives in South Carolina, near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with her husband and daughter (who is named after a volcano in Iceland).
Do you want to own this beauty in a non-digital way? Enter the giveaway for the hardback of Beasts of the Frozen Sun!
Click here to enter! (if the link doesn’t work; copy and paste this in your browser: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233282/ )
Did you read this book? What did you think? 

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


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Book reviews

(ARC) Book review: Shadow Frost

Hey all! Since my last post, I said I might be able to keep up with a blogging schedule.. Guess what happened ^^;

In all honesty, I planned on it, but it took me like half an hour to write three lines so it was a bit difficult. And then on Wednesday night, the kid got brought here, and then it was mostly hot, more hot, more hot and busy! But I did find some time to write the review so here it is!

Title: Shadow Frost (Shadow Frost #1)

Author: Coco Ma

Goodreads / Book Depository / Wordery

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Summary: Asterin Faelenhart is the Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne. When there are rumours of a demon terrorizing the kingdom, soldiers from the royal guard are sent to slay it. Except.. the soldiers don’t come back. Asterin feels terrible for everyone in the kingdom, and when she discovers she may hold the key to defeating the demon, she decides to slay it herself. Although many trained soldiers did not return, and her mother is pleading her to stay, she starts the hunt together with her friends. During the journey, she discovers things about her friends she didn’t know before, and together, they discover a lot more about the demon that no one knew before… although, that’s what they think.

I got approved for this eARC so thanks to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for that! This review is my opinion only, and receiving the eARC did not affect that in any way.

I was excited to receive the eARC because the story pretty much sounded exactly like something I will always read and love. And, correctly, I really liked it. Also: LOOK AT THAT COVER *heart eyes*

Asterin is a princess who loves fighting. I’m all for those kinda characters. She wants to be able to protect her kingdom, so despite her mother’s arguments, she learns how to fight and defend herself. Asterin is omnified, meaning she can wield more than 3 elements. She tries to please her mother but it is difficult because she can’t wield every single one and keeps being pushed to try.

Luna is Asterin’s lady-in-waiting and best friend. She doesn’t remember her past, but has lost both her parents and has trouble wielding any magical element. She and Asterin are very close, and they would do anything for each other. She and Eadric, Captain of the Royal Guard are together.

Orion is the personal Royal Guard of Asterin, and her other best friend. He is teaching her how to fight, and they’re quite close. They’re not in love, but they would do anything for each other, like brother and sister.

Rose and Quinlan are two people coming in later in the book. They are from another kingdom, Eradore, and will be going along with Asterin on her journey. Throughout, they get to know each other, and become great friends.

Harry is a hunter they meet along the way. Harry doesn’t tell a lot about himself but he helps them hunt down the demon and lets them sleep in his house.

The great thing about this book is NO LOVE TRIANGLE. It’s really great that it exists and I’m just so happy. This book has fierce women, something I always love, and appreciate. The guys in this book are mostly regular guys, except that they’re not too shy on talking about their feelings, more bonus points! I won’t get further into relationships because I might give away some spoilers but it was all really awesome.

The story started great immediately. I was hooked from the start, and although it did take me quite a while to finish it, I really was into it. The story follows Asterin and her friends on a journey to slay a demon. During the journey, they find out a lot about the demon they will slay, but they will also find out a lot about themselves. There’s magic, friendship, and many more awesome things.

The magic system works with elements called affinities. There are 9 elements. Everyone who was born was usually born unifinitied, meaning they can wield one element. Those who could wield both are called bifinitied, and people who could wield three elements were called trifinitied. The few people who could wield more than three elements are called multifinitied. The very rare people who could wield all elements are called omnifinitied. Those people were legends, and none of them are known to be living these days. This magic system is different than other books I’ve read. The fact that magic works with stones gives it another nice twist to the story. I liked to see how people in the book use their magic for different things and how it worked for them.

The “big thing” happening didn’t really surprise me since I had seen it coming for a bit. Which is not a bad thing, because I have that with most books. What I didn’t expect, however, was how the characters reacted to it. I really liked the outcome of it all and I could see that they had grown throughout the book.

The only difficult thing was the format on the eARC: most new paragraphs started with half a word and continued on the next line. I don’t think this is something with the book but with my phone because I have this problem with almost every eARC I’ve been reading.

Overall I really liked this book, and I’m happy to have received this ARC. I look forward to the next book in the series!

Did you read this book, or would you want to read it? Do you have any recommendations based on this review? Don’t hesitate to tell me! 🙂

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


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