Blog Tour: Nexus by Sasha Alsburg and Lindsay Cummings

I really enjoyed Zenith by Sasha Alsburg and Lindsay Cummings, so when the opportunity came for me to be part of this blog tour for the second book in The Androma Saga I jumped at the chance! Keep on reading this post for my full review and bookish soundtrack, and a giveaway! But first, let’s have a look what this gorgeous book is about!

#1 New York Times bestselling authors Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings deliver the dazzling finale to the acclaimed Androma Saga, where stunning betrayals and devastating secrets send an embattled galaxy spiraling into the ultimate nightmare.

Her ship is gone, her crew is captured and notorious mercenary Androma Racella is no longer the powerful Bloody Baroness, but a fugitive ruthlessly hunted across the Mirabel Galaxy. The bloodthirsty Queen Nor now rules most of the galaxy through a mind-control toxin and she’ll stop at nothing to destroy her most hated adversary.

Andi will risk anything, even her precious freedom, to find a cure. Stranded with her unlikely ally, Dex, on the unforgiving ice planet of Solera, their plan to infiltrate a black-market city proves dangerously irresistible.

Back in Arcardius, Nor’s actions have opened Mirabel to invasion. As Andi’s crew fights to regain their freedom, Andi and Dex discover a threat far greater than anything they’ve faced before.

Only by saving their mortal enemy can the crew of the Marauder make one last desperate strike to save the galaxy—unaware that a shattering, centuries-old secret may demand the most wrenching sacrifice of all.

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My Review:

First of all, stare at this cover with me for a moment. 🤩 It’s so gorgeous, isn’t it?! Like I said before, I really enjoyed Zenith so I went into Nexus with some expectations on how it would be. I think I marked a TW/CW or two in Goodreads but, naturally, I’m not able to access them from the app. If you’ve read the book and noticed any TW/CWs that should be added, please let me know in the comments or via this form.

I was pretty excited to get back to my favourite space pirate girl gang! The characters didn’t get much development in this one, but I have to think that’s because this is the second book in a duology and definitely not a standalone. Gilly is still my fave with her red hair and fiery soul. Keep destroying things, girl!

Since most of the world was built up so well in Zenith, I wasn’t sure what to expect world building wise from Nexus. There are three world locations that are built up a bit more in this one and they’re all done in a way that’s incredibly immersive. I found myself having trouble pulling my mind out of them, which was both awesome and a little scary sometimes. Either way, the world building is definitely A++!

Nexus started a bit slowly and it was a little tough for me to get into at first. It did pick up around 1/4 of the way in, but I had to really make myself keep going until I got there. After that quarter, however, the story flowed relatively nicely straight through to the end, which wrapped up all the loose bits of story beautifully. There was one thing I was super disappointed about though: how little time on the page Androma, Lira, Breck, and Gilly got to spend together. The thing I liked most about Zenith was the amazing dynamic between Androma and her crew and that just wasn’t there for like 98% of this book.

I did really enjoy Nexus and I’m happy with where it left off, I just wish there was more page time for my space girl gang to be together in all their glory. I do enjoy Sasha Alsburg’s and Lindsay Cummings’s writing styles so I’ll definitely be on the lookout for their other work!

Overall, I rate Nexus 3.5 out of 5 bookworms. But don’t just take my word for it. Add it on Goodreads or preorder it to enjoy when it’s released on 7 May 2019! A few places you can reserve your copy from are…

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Bookish Soundtrack:

There were so many great songs that came to mind while I was reading Nexus. Some of them weren’t on Spotify which… was disappointing. However, I’m still really happy with the end result. So, without further ado, here is the bookish soundtrack for Nexus for your listening pleasure! 🎧😊🎉

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About the Authors:

Sasha Alsburg is the #1 NYT Bestselling Co-Author of ZENITH: The Androma Saga.

When Sasha is not writing or obsessing over Scotland she is making YouTube videos on her channel Abookutopia. She lives in Massachusetts with her dogs, Fraser and Fiona.

For her writing, she is represented by Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary.

You can find Sasha on…

Website | Goodreads | YouTube | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Lindsay Cummings is the #1 NYT Bestselling Co-Author of ZENITH, along with her duology, THE MURDER COMPLEX from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, and the MG trilogy THE BALANCE KEEPERS, from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins. She is represented by Pete Knapp at Park Literary in NYC.

Lindsay deals with chronic fatigue, writes full time from her home in the deep woods in North Texas, and loves to chat with fellow book nerds. Lindsay created the #booknerdigans hashtag.

She’s still waiting on her letter from Hogwarts–it was probably just lost in the mail. You can follow Lindsay on Twitter @authorlindsayc or on Instagram @authorlindsaycummings

You can find Lindsay on…

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

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Giveaway

Yay you made it to the giveaway! On this tour, you have the chance to win a finished copy of Nexus by Sasha Alsburg and Lindsay Cummings! This giveaway is for bookworms in the US. (Sorry, international friends!) The giveaway will run from 1st May through 15th May 2019.

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CLICK HERE TO ENTER

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Want to see more awesome content and have more chances to win? Of course you do! All you have to do is follow the tour. How? Simply follow this link! 😁


Thank you so much to Sasha Alsburg and Lindsay Cummings for creating this series and with it my favorite space pirate girl gang! 💖

Thank you to Inkyard Press for allowing me to have an early copy of Nexus to review and create a bookish soundtrack around!

And, last but not least, thank you so much to the FFBC for allowing me to be a host on this tour! If you’re interested in being an FFBC host (and why wouldn’t you??) click on their logo below! 😁

The Next Chapter: April 2018 TBR & To-Do

So, having my wrap up and TBR/to-do lists separate has really been working for me so far and I figure you shouldn’t fix something that’s working already so here we are continuing the pattern. I can’t believe it’s already about to be April? What happened to the first three months of 2018?! *sigh* Let’s have a look at what I’m hoping to accomplish during the month of April.

Books I Hope To Review In April

I’m going to do what I’ve done so far and keep my TBR for April modest. I figure I can always read more than my TBR but if I read less I feel horrible so this works for me just now. This month, I’d like to read and/or review:

Other Things I’m Hoping To-Do In April

I’m definitely going to be continuing my Bookworm of the Week spotlight because it brings me an unexpected amount of joy to be able to rant a bit about the amazing bloggers and vloggers in the online bookish community.

I’m going to try to not drown in work. I swear the next person to tell me I’m lucky because librarians just sit and read all day is getting a book thrown at them. One I don’t like obviously, but a book will be flying all the same. Also, I am lucky because my job is so incredibly fulfilling but LOL I do so much more than sit and read all day. *facepalm*

I’m going to lighten/bleach my hair at least once more and then it’s going to be purple! I’m trying to give it time to rest and recover from the first round of lightening/bleaching because it’s (still) angry with me, but I definitely am hoping to have purple hair by the end of April! 😀

I’m going to try to be better about regularly posting. My work schedule has gotten a bit draining and I haven’t made the time to write blog posts and reviews like I want to. I think it’s mostly a matter of scheduling it like an appointment? I don’t know. I guess we’ll find out during the month of April though, won’t we? 😉

I think that’s it for this TBR/To-Do list, bookworms. What are you hoping to read or do during the month of April? Keep living one page at a time!

Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Favourite Excerpts:

Page 16

Faeries are twilight creatures, and I have become one, too.

Page 83

“It’s shocking,” he says, as though he’s giving me some great compliment. “I know humans can lie, but to watch you do it is incredible. Do it again.”

 

My Review:

Okay so The Cruel Prince is the first Holly Black book I have experienced and oh my do I understand the hype now! My friend has been pushing me to read her work for months now and when I started seeing this one around the interwebs, I went ahead and put a physical copy on hold with the library. After the hold came in, I still managed to put off reading it for a while and let it sit in my physical TBR pile until I finally decided I should work on reading through it before it fell over and killed me in my sleep. Before we dig in, there are the TW/CWs I remember from having read this book some days in the past (idk my life is basically a blur right now. Don’t judge.)

  • Violent account of murder of parents in front of their children
  • Drugging

The characters were all relatively well developed and I had no trouble imagining having conversations with any of them, though some of them I would love to have avoided. I also had my shipping goggles on from about the halfway point to the end, though I won’t say for who. I will say though that the hate-to-love is strong with this novel!

I did find myself not really much liking Jude at times. She had a tendency to remind me a little of a character from another popular series I really didn’t care for and that rubbed me the wrong way a bit. I felt like Jude got a good bit of character development, which is great because I love a strong MC, but it felt like it kind of tapered off from there. The other characters were realistic but somehow slightly less so. They lacked the level of depth that Jude received. Also, I repeatedly found myself needing to slap Jude’s twin, whose name I’ve honestly forgotten and I can’t be bothered finding it again. Feel free to correct my rudeness in the comments.

The world was probably my favourite part of The Cruel Prince. It’s so magical and sideways, but it’s built up so subtly and brilliantly that it’s obvious this is where Holly Black shines most. I had zero trouble whatsoever putting myself into this magical, albeit medieval-styled, world with its hierarchy and magic. I really enjoyed how immersive it was from beginning to end.

The storyline flowed relatively well for most of the novel. There were parts that were a bit slower, but I felt that there was enough “what will happen next” tension built into those moments that it doesn’t interrupt the flow of the story too horribly. On the other side of that token, there were sections of this book that were absolutely impossible to put down.

If there was one thing I could change about this novel, it would be the ending. Not because I didn’t think it was worthy of the story and characters, but because… CLIFFHANGER! Why do authors keep doing this to me? I don’t know. It seems to be a theme lately though because most of the books I’ve been reading end with some level of cliffhanger feel. I did really enjoy this novel from beginning to end though and I can not wait for the next book in the series to find out what happens next!

Overall, I rate The Cruel Prince 4 out of 5 bookworms.

Don’t just take my word for it. Get your hands on a copy and enjoy it for yourself! A few places you can order The Cruel Prince from are:

 

That’s all for this post, bookworms. Happy reading!

Bookish Pet Peeves

Everyone has pet peeves, though they may not all call them that. I decided to put together a list of bookish pet peeves of mine. To me, these are the worst of the worst, whether it’s something the author does or something a reader does. Let’s just dive into the list, shall we?

 

Miscommunication as a plot device

I seriously HATE this. It’s shockingly common and it really just irritates me when there’s entire plot line that could have been avoided had two characters sat down for a nice cup of tea and had a conversation with more than scowls and secrets. Can your entire plot be rendered null and void by the use of effective communication between two or three characters? Please rethink your novel.

 

Dog-eared Pages

Okay so here’s the thing: You know it’s your book. I know it’s your book. But PLEASE just use a bookmark. Or a sock. Or a diaper (preferably unused). Or a cat. Or ANYTHING that will keep you from DAMAGING A PERFECTLY GOOD PAGE. Don’t even get me started on people who do this to library books. Monsters!!

 

Incorrect use of “BOOK meets BOOK” analogies in marketing

If you market your novel as “ONE POPULAR BOOK/SERIES meets ANOTHER POPULAR BOOK/SERIES,” you’re probably setting some big expectations. Example, I recently read a novel that was advertised as Game of Thrones meets Blade Runner and this description was laughable. While I could easily have come up with an accurate and effective BOOK meets BOOK for that novel (Spoiler: I did), the one given by the publisher was so far off that anyone reading it because of that BOOK meets BOOK will probably be pretty disappointed.

 

Damaging or Not Returning Borrowed Books

Seriously, people. If someone lets you borrow one of their most prized possessions (if you think books aren’t your most prized possessions, you need to rethink your priorities) and you can’t be bothered returning it in the exact condition it was in when they gave it to you…. Just don’t borrow it from them! And, no, damaging it does not mean that you should just keep it and hope they’ll never notice you still have it. They’ve noticed.

 

Cliffhanger endings

If you’ve been around for a bit, you probably already know that cliffhanger endings and I DO NOT get along well. My disdain for these monsters has even gone so far that I now automatically deduct a bookworm rating from the book containing it. I absolutely love the story and it’s perfect and the characters are lovely and the world building is brilliant, but wait! There’s another book in the series and we have to make sure they’ll want it so let’s leave the plot hanging in mid air with a cliffhanger ending! Yeah, that 5 bookworm read goes down to a 4.

 

Annotation in books you don’t own

Look, I know it’s really cool to have your notes on a book in the same place as the actual story. I get that it adds your feelings for the story to the story itself and when you reread it later you might be able to feel an added bit of nostalgia by seeing what you felt and thought the first go around. That’s great. HOWEVER. When you annotate a book I have loaned you or that you have borrowed from the library…. my eye starts twitching. Now, I know none of y’all have known me in real life so I’ll just let you know… Eye twitching? That’s my tell for “I’m trying REALLY HARD not to set you on fire.” Don’t write in books that aren’t yours!

 

While I’m sure I could keep this going and shout about all the many little things I dislike that people do (and yes, there are MANY), I’ll leave the list at the ones that bother me the most. Do you have any bookish pet peeves? Do we share any? Are there any you have that I haven’t listed? Let me know in the comments!

That’s all for me today, bookworms. Keep living one page at a time!

Audiobook Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

 

My Review:

Truthwitch has been on my TBR for what feels like FOREVER. Katie has been pushing me to read it for literally months and I finally got around to it via digital audiobook from the library. And yes, if you’re wondering, I did 100% blow up her phone the instant I finished reading it. I was dying, okay?! Anyway, on to the review!

The characters are all basically my children now. They’re each well developed enough that I feel like they’re all real. The amount of detail and depth given to each character is incredible. Each character has their own high points and faults. Not a single one of them is perfect, no quick and clean “good vs. evil” here. The entire cast exists somewhere among the many shades of gray and I really, really enjoyed such a realistic portrayal of humanity.

The one thing that made me feel a bit slimy was the open hatred and disgust expressed by many of the side characters toward the Nomatsi, a race of people who seem to be coded similarly to the Romani of the real world. This is called out on the page each time it happens and it’s made clear that the main characters find the hatred and disgust appalling, but I don’t feel comfortable not mentioning it at all in my review because not mentioning it feels like ignoring it or pretending like it didn’t happen, which I also don’t think is okay.

The entire book is set in a world called the Witchlands. The politics of the world are fairly complex so it would have been really easy for Susan Dennard to fumble the world building. Instead, she excelled at it. Each country in the Witchlands and their relationships with each other are built up thoroughly enough that reading Truthwitch was a completely immersive experience.

Truthwitch doesn’t waste any time jumping right into the action and it keeps going throughout the entire story. While there were a few moments that might be considered slower, the use of multiple point-of-view characters keeps the plot moving. This story was impossible for me to put down, to the point where I even found myself listening to it while I worked on backroom projects at work.

The audiobook version of Truthwitch… Oh. My. Gosh. Yes. Cassandra Campbell does an incredible job narrating this novel. Her voice is so incredibly pleasing on its own, but she also does different voices and accents for each character. Listening to this audiobook was like hearing the work of a master storyteller. I 100% recommend this audiobook and it’s been added to my go-to recommendation arsenal.

All in all, I really enjoyed this novel from beginning to end. The only thing I was unhappy about at all was the cliffhanger feel of the ending. As any of you who have been around for a while know, I hate a cliffhanger. While it’s understandable because it is a part of a series that I’m told is to be greater than three books long, I just don’t like when things aren’t wrapped up at the end of the novel.

Overall, I rate Truthwitch 4 out of 5 bookworms!

Don’t just take my word for it. Get your hands on a copy and enjoy it for yourself! A few places you can order your copy from are:

 

That’s all for this review, bookworms. Until next time, keep living one page at a time!

2017 Wrap Up

2017 held so many things for so many of us, both good and bad. I’m choosing to focus on the good and I wanted to make a post highlighting all the best things for me from 2017! I’ve already posted my top ten books from 2017 (which you can find here) and my most anticipated books for 2018 (which is here) so this is a list of other awesome things that I did in 2017!

 

1. I participated in my first Read-A-Thon!

Back at the beginning of January, I participated in the Dumbledore’s Army Read-A-Thon. I got the year started by reading seven books in two weeks and decided that Read-A-Thons are not for me. I felt rushed through the whole thing and I wasn’t able to enjoy the books as much as I could have.

 

2. I wrote the first draft of a book!

What? I still can’t believe this one happened! I wrote the first draft of my book in July for Camp NaNo. While I still haven’t gotten around to editing or writing the second draft of it, having completed the first draft is a huge accomplishment for me. I’m really proud of myself for it.

 

3. I was a monthly rep for my favourite bookish candle company!

I got to be a rep for the month of October for Camterbury Road Co. I absolutely love her candles and Shan herself is such an amazing, sweet lady. Working with her is one of the best experiences I’ve had this year.

 

4. I surpassed 200 followers on my blog!

Yes…there are TWO HUNDRED NINETEEN of you. I just… thank you so much for following and for sticking around through all my slumpish glory. You are the best bookworms a girl could ask for!

 

5. I surpassed 650 followers on Instagram!

Yeah I don’t even know how this one happened, but I’m happy with it. I’ve really enjoyed my almost one year of creating pictures and posting them. The bookstagram community has its ups and downs but my little corner of it is wonderful.

 

6. I crushed my 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge!

I wasn’t sure how much time I would have this year so I chose for my goal to be sixty books. I somehow (really…how did this happen??) managed to read ninety books. I’m still baffled.

 

7. I started learning how to do handlettering!

Poorly and like a six year old, but I have started (slowly) to learn the art of handlettering. I’m still nowhere near the elaborate designs I see some people effortlessly doing, but I am really enjoying it so far.

 

8. I made some incredible friends in the bookish community!

The bookish community has so many amazing people in it and also so many horrible people. I feel so incredibly lucky to have become friends with the few I have this year. They have been a blessing and I don’t know what I would have done this year without them.

 

That’s all for this bookworm for now. I hope 2017 has treated you all well and I look forward to what 2018 will bring. Until next time, happy reading, bookworms!

Most Anticipated 2018 Releases

Hello, bookworms! Can you believe 2018 is practically here already? I feel like 2017 was the longest and shortest and most exhausting year ever. I’m ready for 2018 and all of the amazing new books it’s bringing with it! Here are a few of my most anticipated 2018 releases.

 

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

 

A Reaper At The Gates by Sabaa Tahir

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion—even at the cost of his humanity.

 

From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy—a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2.

When mystery man “N” begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil.

Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough?

Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, with Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you.

 

Everlife by Gena Showalter

From New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter comes book three in the unique and exhilarating Everlife series. Tenley “Ten” Lockwood knows the fate of the Everlife rests on her ability to unite the realms and destroy the Prince of Ravens. When betrayal leads to defeat and Ten finds herself bonded to the enemy, an unthinkable choice may the only answer.

 

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

Stephanie Garber’s limitless imagination takes flight once more in the colorful, mesmerizing, and immersive sequel to the bestselling and breakout debut Caraval, following Scarlett’s younger sister, Tella, on a journey to the empire’s capital to fulfill a mysterious bargain.

 

Winter Glass by Lexa Hillyer

A curse comes undone. A kingdom shatters. But some bonds can’t be broken.

Princess Aurora, torn from the dream world, plots to assassinate the faerie queen Malfleur, only to confront temptations she never expected. Isabelle, meanwhile, opens her heart to Prince William as they attempt to unite their kingdoms and wage war against Malfleur’s army. But when the appearance of an unbreakable glass slipper prompts Isabelle to discover more about her lineage, her true identity begins to take shape and her legacy becomes as clear as ice.

Devoted half-sisters Isabelle and Aurora will grapple with their understanding of love and loyalty as they face a threat even greater than that of the evil queen—the threat of losing each other forever.

 

Blood of a Thousand Stars by Rhoda Belleza

Empress

With a revolution brewing, Rhee is faced with a choice: make a deal with her enemy, Nero, or denounce him and risk losing her crown.

Fugitive

Framed assassin Alyosha has one goal in mind: kill Nero. But to get his revenge, Aly may have to travel back to the very place he thought he’d left forever—home.

Princess

Kara knows that a single piece of technology located on the uninhabitable planet Wraeta may be the key to remembering—and erasing—the princess she once was.

Madman

Villainous media star Nero is out for blood, and he’ll go to any means necessary to control the galaxy.

Vicious politics and high-stakes action culminate in an epic showdown that will determine the fate of the universe.

 

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she’ll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from their latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur?

One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru’s doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don’t believe her claim that the museum’s Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again.

But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it’s up to Aru to save them.

The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that?

 

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

 

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

What If It’s Us opens as Arthur and Ben meet at the post office as Ben is shipping his ex-boyfriend’s things back to him. They subsequently endure the frustration of knowing there was a missed connection, before the universe pushes them back together again in a series of failed “first” dates.

 

Tarnished City by Vic James

A corrupted city. A dark dream of power.

Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his mind. But as the Jardines tighten their grip on a turbulent Britain, brother and sister face a fight greater than their own.

New alliances and old feuds will remake the nation, leaving Abi and Luke questioning everything – and everyone – they know. And as Silyen Jardine hungers for the forgotten Skill of the legendary Wonder King, the country’s darkest hour approaches. Freedom and knowledge both come at a cost. So who will pay the price?

 

I can’t wait for 2018 to begin! I look forward to seeing all of you on the other side. Happy New Year! Have a great time and be safe. 💖

The Sunshine Blogger Award

sunshine-blogger-award.jpgThank you so much to Romie @ Who said reading was boring? for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award! If you aren’t following her twitter, instagram, or blog, you’re really missing out and I recommend you remedy that as soon as possible! (After reading this post, of course.)

The Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or on your blog.

 

I. Book Recommendation: “if you liked this book, then you’ll like this one”

I have a few of these, but the one I’m going to go with this time is: If you like Harry Potter, then chances are you’ll like The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s definitely a series I enjoyed that has a Harry Potter-like flair to it!

 

II. Care to share an unpopular opinion?

Ha! Of course I would. I don’t like reading hyped books. I used to because it’s how I found Harry Potter, which saved my life (a story for another time), but I’ve been let down so many times. Most recently, the book that let me down horribly was The Raven Boys. I’m happy other people enjoyed it but….not my cup of tea.

 

III. Put your phone on shuffle and find a book that matches the song you got.

I had to use my computer instead because I don’t keep music on my phone. The song I got was Beacon by Goliath Flores and the book that matches it is When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. The song is about still being yourself while letting yourself love someone and also letting yourself grow as a person. I also kind of feel like it’s about being there for the person you love even in the hard times.

 

IV. If you had to use one book as a shield to protect yourself – because why not, you totally dislike the thing – which one would it be?

I really don’t feel like I totally dislike any book that much. There are a great many books I feel meh about but dislike involves a level of caring I just don’t have for books I don’t like or love. I suppose if I had to choose one, it’d be Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas because it’s just kind of taking up space on my shelf and, with it being as large and heavy as it is, would make a perfectly acceptable weapon.

 

V. If you could share a cup of tea – or a good mug of coffee – with a fictional character, who would it be?

It would be so awesome to have a cup of tea or coffee with Nina from Six of Crows. Especially if there are waffles involved!!

 

VI. Unhaul: List 3 books you don’t want to see anymore on your shelves

Since I’ve already said one, I’ll go with The Raven Boys and Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (because the series just wasn’t for me) and A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (I never read it and won’t because I’m not sure I’m ready for the portrayal of abuse).

 

VII. Share the love: list your 3 favourite booktubers and 3 favourite bookstagrammers.

In no particular order, my 3 fave booktubers are the (book) supplierxreadingsolacex, and squibblesreads. My 3 fave bookstagrammers (again in no particular order) are VanshikaBrittany, and Shannon. The bookstagrammers were HORRIBLY DIFFICULT to choose. I really only follow those three booktubers though so that was easy!

 

VIII. Let’s say you have to get a book cover tattooed on your body, which one do you end up with forever?

Six of Crows French Edition. No contest whatsoever. IT’S GORGEOUS!

 

IX. Worst and best book-to-movie adaptation?

Worst is probably Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I couldn’t enjoy it and I’m not sure if that’s because it wasn’t good or if it’s because the movie is LITERALLY NOTHING like the book. At all. Best is The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex, which was adapted to the film Home by Dreamworks. I enjoyed the movie so much that I decided to read the book it was adapted from and was utterly disappointed.

 

X. If you could get rid of ONE character because they’re a total pain in the ass, who would you choose?

SEVERUS SNAPE

 

XI. Choose one book for each season.

Spring: How To Make A Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

Summer: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Autumn: An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Winter: Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling (this is usually when I start my rereading of the series, so I always associate it with the season)

 

My Questions

  1. What’s something you’d like to see more of?
  2. What’s the best book you’ve read so far in 2017?
  3. Why did you decide to blog about books?
  4. What book or book series would you most like to see adapted into a movie or tv show?
  5. What book or book series do you wish you could forget you read and why?
  6. Who are three book bloggers, booktubers, or bookstagrammers who inspire you as a book blogger?
  7. Who are your auto-buy authors?
  8. What genre would you like to start reading more of?
  9. What do you drink or snack on while you write blog posts?
  10. What are your non-bookish hobbies?
  11. If you could have lunch with three characters, which three would you choose?

 

I Nominate

Katie @ katsyxo

the (book) supplier

Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek

Ravenclaw Book Club

Breeny @ Breeny’s Books

Lexie Brooke @ lexiebrookeblog

Misty @ Misty’s Book Space

Chelsea @ romweasley

Leah @ Small Queer, Big Opinions

YA Wednesdays

and YOU! If you’re interested in doing the tag, consider yourself tagged! 😉

 

That’s it for now, bookworms. Happy reading!

ARC Review: Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

Spindle Fire IGGoodreads Synopsis:

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood–and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape . . . or the reason for her to stay.

Spindle Fire is the first book in a lush fantasy duology set in the dwindling, deliciously corrupt world of the fae and featuring two truly unforgettable heroines.

 

Favorite Exerpts:

Page 6

Some people consider it a problem–or even a curse–to be forever trapped in darkness. But Isabelle no longer minds the dark.

Light too can be a curse.

It can illuminate things no one should ever have to witness.

Page 85-86

The queen too stood. “We do not want your gift, Malfleur.”

For just a moment, Malfleur’s eyes snapped thin like a cat’s. “Well, that makes things easier. Gifts come at a cost, but curses come for free.”

 

My Review:

This book took me quite a while to finish reading. I blame this on the horrible reading slump and overwhelming TBR pile I’ve had since I was lucky enough to receive an ARC from the author, but not on the book itself. Before I jump headlong into my review, I’ll give the only trigger/content warning I noticed the need for.

  • slut shaming

The characters in this story were developed pretty well, though I’d like to see more from each of them in the forthcoming sequel. I really enjoyed the use of multiple POVs because it made it easier to get a feel for who each of the characters are. Aurora seems to have been forced all her life into the role of damsel in distress, though she’s only thus far suffered from the tithes her parents allowed fae to take from her as an infant. She still has lived the coddled life of a crowned princess and heir to the throne of her parents’ kingdom. I love watching her character progression throughout the book and see how far she comes from beginning to end.

Isbe is somewhat the opposite and I saw so much of myself in her personality. Isbe was a few years old when the king and queen allowed the fae to tithe her eyesight so that Aurora would be allowed to live so throughout the story she remains completely blind. She’s the bastard-born daughter of the king and because of that she is treated horribly by everyone except Aurora, who sees her as a full-blooded sister and confidant. Because of this, she’s emotionally armored herself and quite anxious when interacting with anyone who isn’t Aurora, which is what I relate to the most in her.

The worlds are so beautifully built! They’re probably my favourite part of the novel. I love the dreamy yet dangerous qualities of Sommeil and the very old world feel of the real world. It’s brought together magically in a way that allows it to be fairly immersive and realistic.

The story itself is very interesting, though occasionally the changing POVs and time periods make it a little hard to follow. However, I really enjoyed the storytelling style and the way it flowed. I loved the story’s progression and how it seemed to include more fairy stories than just Sleeping Beauty. Spindle Fire is a fairy stories combined with a unique magic Lexa Hillyer has created all her own. It ties together beautifully into a novel that is very enjoyable.

There is only one thing I can truly say I disliked about this novel and that is the extreme cliffhanger ending. So many loose strings that haven’t even begun to be woven back into the tapestry of this story are left hanging at the end of this novel. Thankfully, Lexa Hillyer has already announced the 2018 release of the next book in the series so we’ll only have to wait so long for that much desired closure.

Overall, I rate Spindle Fire 4 out of 5 bookworms.

Don’t just take my word for it. Order a copy of Spindle Fire and enjoy it for yourself! A few places you can go to get your hands on a copy are:

For more information about Lexa Hillyer and her work, visit her website.

​Blog Tour Guest Post: The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari

Hello, bookworms! I can not believe it’s been a year since I started out blogging here! I’m really excited to be part of the blog tour for The Best Kind of Magic! It just seems like a fitting tour for my blogversary.

We get a special treat here on Vicarious Bookworm today! Crystal Cestari has accepted my invitation to guest post about an author who inspires her! Without further adieu, I’ll hand the keyboard over to her!

 

One author who made a big impact on me was Roald Dahl. When I was in second grade, I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for the first time, and it was a huge “a-ha!” moment for me.

I can remember the scene very clearly: I was sitting at my desk, quietly flipping through the pages, and got to the part of the story where Charlie is in the great glass elevator scrolling through all the buttons leading to the seemingly hundreds of rooms within the factory. I had been enjoying the story up to this point, but something about reading through those many, many descriptions of all the candy-themed rooms set something off in me. For some reason, that list of imaginative descriptions made me realize how special this book was, and how extraordinary it was that someone had written it.

My childhood brain was absolutely exploding. Someone had dreamed up this over-the-top chocolate factory—filled with crazy characters and golden tickets—and took the time to sit down and write about it. This person, this writer, transformed a daydream into something real. And because of that effort, readers like me were now able to share those adventures. What an unbelievably amazing job! It’s not like up until that point I hadn’t realized that books were written by people, but it was the first time that it seemed like the coolest thing ever.

Something clicked inside me that day. I already loved reading, but I hadn’t experimented with writing much yet. I was inspired to try, and started dreaming up stories of witches and unicorns, fairies and far away lands. I loved filling up the pages with words and drawings, and watching how a blank piece of paper could turn into so much more. To this day, I still write all my first drafts longhand; for me, penning my thoughts on paper flows so much better than on a glowing computer screen.

Beyond this major moment, I appreciated the variety and creativity of Dahl’s writing. He showed me a way to weave magical elements into any story, whether they be about sly foxes, friendly giants, or in my case, matchmakers who can actually see true love. I loved how he made up his own silly words, and took ordinary objects like peaches and transformed them into something imaginative and new. He had a unique worldview that I loved being a part of, and hoped to emulate in my own creative endeavors.

I have read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory many times since then, and recently read it to my daughter for the first time. One of the main characters in The Best Kind of Magic is named Charlie, and I have all of Roald Dahl’s books on my shelves. I’m so thankful for the foundation he gave me.

 

Thank you so much for joining us today, Crystal! I love how we are able to pass down our childhood favourite books to the next generation! Roald Dahl was also a favourite of mine growing up, but my favourite of his was always Matilda because what bookworm wouldn’t want to be telekinetic?

Goodreads Synopsis:

Amber Sand is not a witch. The Sand family Wicca gene somehow leapfrogged over her. But she did get one highly specific magical talent: she can see true love. As a matchmaker, Amber’s pretty far down the sorcery food chain (even birthday party magicians rank higher), but after five seconds of eye contact, she can envision anyone’s soul mate.

Amber works at her mother’s magic shop–Windy City Magic–in downtown Chicago, and she’s confident she’s seen every kind of happy ending there is: except for one–her own. (The Fates are tricky jerks that way.) So when Charlie Blitzman, the mayor’s son and most-desired boy in school, comes to her for help finding his father’s missing girlfriend, she’s distressed to find herself falling for him. Because while she can’t see her own match, she can see his–and it’s not Amber. How can she, an honest peddler of true love, pursue a boy she knows full well isn’t her match?

The Best Kind of Magic is set in urban Chicago and will appeal to readers who long for magic in the real world. With a sharp-witted and sassy heroine, a quirky cast of mystical beings, and a heady dose of adventure, this novel will have you laughing out loud and questioning your belief in happy endings.

 

About the Author

With rainbows in my hair and stories in my head, I am a writer drawn to magic in the everyday world.

My debut novel, The Best Kind of Magic, arrives May 16, 2017 from Hyperion. Follow Amber Sand, a magical matchmaker who can actually see true love, as she takes off on a fun and romantic adventure toward happily ever after.

 

Happy belated book birthday to Crystal Cestari! This is definitely a book to add to your Goodreads list! A few places you can go to get your hands on a copy of The Best Kind of Magic are:

 

Or, you could win a copy from the blog tour giveaways! Yes, plural and I’ll explain that in just a bit. The winners will each receive ONE finished copy of The Best Kind of Magic. This giveaway is open to the US and Canada ONLY (sorry international bookworms!). Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Vicarious Bookworm giveaway ends 26 May 2017. The winner will be notified on 27 May 2017 and will have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is selected.

Now, you know how I said the plural of giveaways and winners? Disney-Hyperion has given permission for each blog on the tour to give away a finished copy! That means your chances to win a copy go up for each stop on the tour you visit!

There is a catch, however. Each person can only win ONE copy of this book. If you’re selected as the winner on more than one stop, it’s expected that you’ll decline any copy more than one. I know y’all are honest so it won’t be a problem, but anyone who doesn’t decline the extra copies will be disqualified from winning. Good luck!

 

Here’s the schedule so you can follow the tour!

17 May

 

18 May

 

19 May

 

20 May

 

21 May

 

22 May

 

23 May

 

Thank you so much to Crystal Cestari for writing this beautiful book. You’re a rock star!

Another thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for allowing me the privilege of participating in this blog tour!

And, finally, thank you to Disney-Hyperion for allowing us the unique privilege of giving away so many copies of The Best Kind of Magic on this tour!