Turning the Page: June 2018 Wrap Up

What happened to June? I don’t know. Let’s talk about it!

 

Books I Read or Reviewed in June

June was a great month for reading the books. Mostly because I’ve been listening to digital audiobooks on the way to and from work every day and I’ve been working 6-7 days a week all month. That’s a lot of audiobook time. I’ve also read a few digital and hardcover tales this month. Same as always, titles with links are those I’ve reviewed and those without I haven’t. You’ll notice that June has not been such a great month for reviewing the books, but meh. Can’t have it all. (If you want to check out what I was hoping to read/review, you can find my June TBR and To Do list here.)

You might have noticed that some don’t even have ratings. That’s either because I couldn’t decide on one or because I didn’t think it was fair to rate the book based on what I consumed of it. (Example: I listened to an abridged audiobook version of one of the unrated books and I just didn’t feel comfortable rating it based on what I consumed.)

 

Other Things I Did In June

I continued featuring bloggers and vloggers for Bookworm of the Week. I have so much trouble writing what I feel like might be enough or good enough for this feature, but this month I really wanted to at least try to get something up. Even if it meant not writing as much as I felt the bloggers deserved, I wanted to make sure to at least say something. Let them know at least in this little way that I do think of them fondly and that I do love the work they’re putting into their chosen medium. About half through the month, I decided that since this month is Pride Month I was going to try sticking with bloggers who have come out as members of the LGBT+ community. Here’s what that list looks like:

I thoroughly and completely drowned at work. Summer has always been the busiest time for me, but this year has completely blown previous years away in how busy we’ve been, how much programming we’re expected to do, and how much overall stress is put onto us. This month, for the first time since taking this position, I had to bring my work home with me multiple times just because there was not enough time in the day to get it all done. Don’t get me wrong. I still LOVE my job. SO MUCH. But sometimes, a girl just needs a staycation.

Which brings me to the next thing I did this month: Plan for my staycation. I’m not actually going anywhere. Not even staying somewhere other than the house. BUT. I have my birthday week off and I have a few things I’m excited for, including a whole day of NOTHING AT ALL. It’s going to be the best.

I also started planning for my trip to Maine at the end of September. One of my best friends ever in the history of the universe IS GETTING MARRIED!! She’s decided that she wants me closer to her on this day than Florida or the seats at the back, so I’m one of the lucky few who gets to put on a snazzy dress and stand at the front of the room with her. I’m super excited for this trip and there will likely be LOTS of pictures. I might do a post about it on here, but more than likely most of the pictures will be posted to my Instagram. I’ll decide more when it gets a bit closer.

Speaking of Instagram, I posted an ownvoices LGBT+ book rainbow and I’m super proud of it because it’s beautiful and it took FOREVER. Okay, maybe not forever but it took a really long time. Yes. Proud. Here it is!

IMG_20180606_090359_558.jpg

I created another blog where I plan on posting my library program plans. I did this half because I think it’s always a good idea to share plans, whether or not others agree, and half because my work-provided storage is 97% full and I need the space. It’s just a blank shell right now while I work on typing things in and moving things around, but hopefully I’ll have space on my work storage to actually plan things sometime in the near future, which will mean sharing of all the plans. I would have attempted that here, but it’s such a different audience that I decided to just make an entirely new blog for it. Also, did I mention storage is a thing? Because, yeah. Storage. It’s a thing.

I actually posted my reading challenges for this year like I hoped to! This might seem small, but it’s a huge accomplishment for me. I’ll be updating just those posts and linking them in future wrap ups with updates, I think, but if you have any suggestions for the A to Z Challenge or the Shelflove Crate Reading Challenge or both, I appreciate them all! 😀

 

Honestly, this month just feels like a giant blur. One minute, it was May 28th and now here it is nearly July. What happened? Time slows for no person, apparently, whether they are paying attention to it or not.

What are some of your favourite reads from this month? What are some interesting things that you did or saw? Let’s talk about them in the comments! 😀

​Blog Tour: The Dragons of Nova by Elise Kova

If you’ve talked with me on social media in the past month or so, you know how super excited I am to be participating in this blog tour! I’m going to give you my fully opinionated review of The Dragons of Nova, but first I have a real treat to share with you.

Elise Kova has decided to come by Vicarious Bookworm for a quick interview! Thank you so much for joining us!

 

Which of the characters in The Dragons of Nova do you relate to the most and why?

It’s always hard for me to pick just one character because every character ends up being a mash-up of myself and people I know. That being said, my friends say I’m the most like Arianna, perhaps because I’m usually logic and efficiency driven.

 

Which of the characters is least like yourself?

As I am now? Florence. The reason why I specify that first bit is because I think there was a time where I was like Florence, younger and discovering who I was. But I’m on the other side of that transition now, I think. So I see the least of myself in her.

 

What authors have inspired you the most?

In my formative years, the works of Dave Duncan and JK Rowling were especially transformative for me. Among my peers today, I really admire Danielle L. Jensen and Susan Dennard. They’re both very dedicated to their craft and manage work and life admirably

 

How do you feel your start as an author has affected the way you see the publishing industry?

Being rejected by literary agents out the gate and deciding to self-publish really made me see that there are a lot of ways to be “successful” in publishing, and every person will define what success means to them. There’s nothing wrong with publishing just to be published, and you’re not more or less of an author if you go with a “big five” or not. I think my start really lit a fire in me to blaze my own trail, no matter what.

 

Finally, is there an indie bookstore where readers might find signed editions of The Dragons of Nova?

My local indie, Books at Park Place, usually has signed copies. I’m stopping at Books of Wonder in NYC on my tour, so they may have some on hand. I also will stop into bookstores a lot when I travel for work or pleasure, so if you want me to stop in somewhere, let me know!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

 

Now I bet you all want to know what The Dragons of Nova is about so here’s a Goodreads synopsis of it!

Cvareh returns home to his sky world of Nova with the genius crafter Arianna as his temperamental guest. The mercurial inventor possesses all the Xin family needs to turn the tides of a centuries-old power struggle, but the secrets she harbors must be earned with trust — hard to come by for Ari, especially when it comes to Dragons. On Nova, Ari finds herself closer to exacting vengeance against the traitor who killed everything — and everyone – she once loved. But before Ari can complete her campaign of revenge, the Crimson Court exposes her shadowed past and reveals something even more dangerous sparking between her and Cvareh.

While Nova is embroiled in blood sport and political games, the rebels on Loom prepare for an all-out assault on their Dragon oppressors. Florence unexpectedly finds herself at the forefront of change, as her unique blend of skills — and quick-shooting accuracy — makes her a force to be reckoned with. For the future of her world, she vows vengeance against the Dragons.

Before the rebellion can rise, though, the Guilds must fall.

Sounds great, right! What are my opinions on this book? Well, I thought you’d never ask!

 

My Review:

First, there were a couple trigger/content warnings that I noticed in this one so lets get them out of the way.

  • Air raid
  • Genocide
  • War crimes
  • Blood
  • Depictions of slavery
  • Torture
  • Homomisia (addressed on the page)
  • Death

If you follow me on any social media, you already know how much I love this series so please excuse me while I fangirl my way through this review.

The characters were developed really well for the most part. I felt like I could have had a conversation with all of the primary and a few of the secondary characters. There was an inconsistency in the relationship between Cvareh and Petra in that he is initially described in The Alchemists of Loom as her younger brother, but several times in this novel she is described as the youngest of the three siblings. This is easily remedied in editing and, as I was reading an unedited copy, I won’t allow that to take away from my rating, especially since others noticed this detail and wrote it into their reviews pre-publication.

I continued to love Ari, even though some of her behaviors and reactions to things made me want to scream and hit her. She definitely allowed herself to open up to new possibilities in The Dragons of Nova, even if they confuse or frustrate her. Finally, Flor. Ohh my sweet Flor and her rude awakening broke my heart. I just want her to be okay! If I’m being honest, Flor’s arc is my favourite because she’s grown so much.

The world building in The Dragons of Nova is absolutely stunning. I can confidently say that the world itself is the shining beacon of this novel. Enough information is given throughout the novel at intervals that I felt like I had been dropped onto Nova and Loom and left to wander about with the characters. The building up wasn’t info dumpy at all. The increments of world building that are done throughout the book were hardly even noticeable beyond the expansion of my ability to put myself into the world of the story. There were things about the world that bothered me but that’s mostly the story and not the world.

However, the things in the story that bothered me were meant to be troubling. The depictions of ongoing slavery, the genocide, the torture…these things were all parts of the story that specifically brought on dislike for certain characters. The story flows very well in a way that kept me from being able to put it down. I spent literally every possible moment devouring the words, needing them as I need air. I really enjoyed how incredibly well written it is.

I mentioned in my review of The Alchemists of Loom (which you can find here) that I was very pleasantly surprised to find intersectional representation. Elise Kova followed through and brought that to the next level. The intersection of bi/pan, OCD and PTSD are clarified in canon and done so brilliantly, but we also have another canon intersection added: questioning and anxiety. It also seemed to me in this book that the bi/pan character may also be demisexual, but this is not made canon. There’s something about seeing one of my intersections so clearly represented that warms my heart and makes a permanent home for this book nearby.

Overall, I rate The Dragons of Nova 4 out of 5 bookworms.

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

 

About the Author

Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the Loom Saga.

 

Remember that giveaway I mentioned? You have the chance to win

  • 1 hardcover finished copy of The Dragons of Nova
  • 1 The Dragons of Nova Swag Pack

Enter here:

Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Luckily for me, I’m in amazing company on this blog tour. Luckily for you, the more tour hosts you visit, the greater your chances of winning! Check out the full blog tour schedule here so you can be sure not to miss any stops!

 

Thank you so much to Elise Kova for writing The Dragons of Nova! You are a blessing upon bookshelves everywhere.

Thank you to Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours for allowing me the privilege of being a host on this tour! (Seriously, if you aren’t registered as a tour host with them yet, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life.)

And lastly, but most definitely not least, a huge thank you to Keymaster Press for sending me an ARC of this brilliant novel.

 

That’s all for now! Happy reading, bookworms!

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.

​May 2017 Wrap-Up

I know I’m late. Let’s just wrap up May so we can properly begin June, shall we?

 

Books I’ve Reviewed In May

Well, you might remember me saying in my April Wrap-Up I was going to back way off on reviewing to get some research done for my WIP…which totally happened to coincide with a HUGE book slump. I did manage to read a couple though!

 

Other Things I Did In May

I ended up doing quite a few non-review related things in May.

I participated in a few Blog Tours:

HUGE READING SLUMP: It was horrible. I think I’m at least coming out of it now? I’ll get back to you on that though.

I did finish researching on two topics for my WIP, but there’s still a lot more than I initially anticipated….

I co-hosted TBRathon with some AMAZING bloggers and bookstagrammers. It was fun, even though I didn’t actually manage to finish any of my books….

I created a post containing a list of books that are ownvoices for their LGBT+ aspects. It’s still growing and you can find it here.

I participated in two bookstagram challenges:

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Diverse Bingo 2017 Card Update (pitiful, I know)

 

Books I Hope To Review In June

  • When Dimple Met Rishi
  • The Hollow Crown
  • The Alchemists of Loom
  • Shadowshaper

 

Other Things I Hope To Do In June

More research for my WIP, which means continued decreased posting — SORRY!!!

I’m signed up for one blog tour and I might add one more just to mix things up a bit.

I’m hosting #ownrainbows, which is a giveaway challenge on Instagram

I’m planning to participate in 3 Instagram challenges in addition to ownrainbows, which should be interesting because I’ve taken no photos….

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That’s all for now!

A List of #ownvoices LGBT+ Books

You might have noticed I suck at titles. No matter! A couple weeks ago, I had a post on Twitter asking for any and all books y’all could think of that are ownvoices for the LGBT+ aspects. And WOW did y’all deliver! I had people responding, quote retweeting, and DMing me on both Twitter AND Instagram to tell me their favourite ownvoices LGBT+ books.

I was initially asking so that I could use the books for myself for reading and pictures for my own bookstagram account, but the overwhelming number of books that came at me that I had no idea existed before made me want to do more with it. I got together with a few amazing people and we decided to host an Instagram challenge.

#ownrainbows

I also decided to provide the list for y’all in a way that allows everyone to see it all put together. I’m going to list them in alphabetical order by title. I’m also going to add what the ownvoices rep within the book is in parenthesis. There are some that I’m unsure what the ownvoices rep is, so I’ll just put a ? for those.

Please let me know in the comments or shoot me a DM on Twitter or IG if you know what a book is ownvoices for. Likewise, if I’ve not included a book you know to be ownvoices for the LGBT+ aspects, please let me know and I’ll add it to the list! Also, if I’ve gotten any of these incorrect, please let me know so I can fix it.

I also want to go ahead and note that I know some of these books are problematic for other marginalizations. I am not excusing their problematic nature at all. The hurt caused by them is real and valid. DO NOT tell someone who has been hurt that their pain is not valid because the book is ownvoices, even if they are the same marginalization as the author. Marginalizations ARE NOT  a monolith. I am only listing books based on the ownvoices marginalization represented. I’ll put an asterisk (*) next to those I have heard may contain harmful content. If I missed any please let me know and I will add it.

 

A

A Boy’s Own Story by Edmund White (Gay)

A Harvest of Ripe Figs by Shira Glassman (?)

A Little Complicated by Kade Boehme (?)

A Matter of Disagreement by EE Ottoman (?)

A Midwinter Prince by Harper Fox (?)

A Safe Girl To Love by Casey Plett (Trans)

Abroad by Liz Jacobs (?)

Adaptation by Malinda Lo (Bi)

Afterimage by Santino Hassell (?)

All Roads Lead To You by Harper Fox (?)

An Anthology of Fiction by Trans Women of Color by Ellyn Peña (Trans)

Another Enchanted April by Eric Arvin (?)

Anything Could Happen by Will Walton (?)

Ariah by B. R. Sanders (?)

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz (Gay)

As La Vista Turns by Kris Ripper (?)

Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi (?)

Ash by Melinda Lo (Lesbian)

Azrael and the Light Bringer by Eric Arvin (?)

 

B

Bad Boy by Elliot Wake (Trans)

Bad Comes First by Kris Ripper (?)

Bait by Alex Sanchez (?)

Bear, Otter, and the Kid by TJ Klune (?)

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp (Acespec)

Better The Devil You Know by Bey Deckard (?)

Black Iris by Elliot Wake writing as Leah Raeder (?)

Blueberry Boys by Vanessa North (?)

Body Language by C. C. Carter (Lesbian)

Borrowing Trouble by Kade Boehme (?)

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan (Gay)

Boy With Thorn by Rickey Laurenriis (Gay)

Breach of Contract by JR Gray (?)

Breakaway by Avon Gale (?)

Breaking Down by Kris Ripper (?)

Brothers of the Wild North Sea by Harper Fox (?)

Business Makes Strange Bedfellows by EE Ottoman (?)

 

C

Caged by Bey Deckard (?)

Cam Girl by Elliot Wake writing as Leah Raeder (?)

Catalysts by Kris Ripper (?)

Ceremonies by Essex Hemphill (Gay)

Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver (Aspec/demisexuality, Polyamory, Trans/NB)

Chance of the Heart by Kade Boehme (?)

Changeling Moon by EE Ottoman (?)

Changing Colors by Elyse Springer (?)

Chasing the Rainbow by Kade Boehme (?)

Chulito by Charles Rice-González (Gay)

Climbing the Date Palm: A labor rights love story by Shira Glassman (?)

Close to Home by Kris Ripper (?)

Clouded Hell by JR Gray (?)

Cloudy Climes and Starless Skies by Alexis Hall (?)

Coach’s Challenge by Avon Gale (?)

Coffee Boy by Austin Chant (?)

Cold Fusion by Harper Fox (?)

Concourse by Santino Hassell (?)

Confessions of a Wild hear

 

D

Damages Incurred by JR Gray (?)

Daughter of Mystery by Heather Rose Jones (Lesbian, Acespec)

Daybreak Rising by Kiran Oliver (?)

Dear John by Kade Boehme (?)

Documenting Light by EE Ottoman (?)

Don’t Let Go by Harper Fox (?)

Don’t Trust The Cut by Kade Boehme (?)

Double Up by Vanessa North (?)

Driftwood by Harper Fox (?)

Duende by EE Ottoman (?)

Dynamics by Kris Ripper (?)

 

E

Empty Net by Avon Gale (?)

Equilibrium by LC Davis (?)

Evenfall by Santino Hassell (?)

Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour (Lesbian)

Exes by Kade Boehme (?)

Exposed by Bey Deckard (?)

Extremes by Kris Ripper (?)

 

F

Failure To Communicate by Misha Horne (?)

Far From You by Tess Sharpe (Bi)

Fast Connection by Santino Hassell (Bi)

Fourth World by Lyssa Chiavari (?)

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (?)

 

G

George by Alex Gino (Trans)

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown (Lesbian)

Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard (Lesbian)

Graveyard Sparrow by Kayla Bashe (?)

 

H

Hello World by Tiffany Rose (?)

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera (Gay)

How To Make A Wish by Ashley Herring Blake (Bi)

Huntress by Malinda Lo (Bi)

 

I

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (Trans)

If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan (Lesbian)*

 

J

John & Jackie by TJ Klune (?)

Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera (Lesbian)

 

K

Knit One Girl Two by Shira Glassman (?)

 

L

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig (?)

Lunaside by J. L. Douglas (?)

 

M

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera (Gay)*

More Than This by Patrick Ness (Gay)

Mother of Souls by Heather Rose Jones (Lesbian, Acespec)

 

N

Nevada by Imogine Binnie (Trans)

Not Your Sidekick by C. B. Lee (Bi)

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate (Bi)*

 

O

Of Fire And Stars by Audrey Coulthurst (?)

One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva (?)

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg (Gay)

Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis (?)

 

P

Peter Darling by Austin Chant (Trans)

 

Q

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde (Bi)

Queer Magick by LC Davis (?)

 

R

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman (?)

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy (?)

 

S

Seafood and Silence by Lynn E. O’Cannacht (Acespec)

Shadows of Ourselves by Apollo Blake (?)

She Whom I Love by Tess Bowery (Bi, Poly)

Storm Season by Pene Henson (?)

 

T

Tales From Outer Lands by Shira Glassman (?)

Tales from Perach by Shira Glassman (?)

Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan (?)

The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer (Lesbian)

The End of Eddy by Edouard Louis (Gay)

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich (Gay)*

The Mystic Marriage by Heather Rose Jones (Lesbian, Acespec)

The Olive Conspiracy by Shira Glassman (?)

The Paths We Choose by Maria Hollis (?)

The Rules of Ever After by Killian Brewer (Gay)

The Second Mango by Shira Glassman (?)

The Summer We Got Free by Mia McKenzie (?)

The Traitor’s Tunnel by C. M. Spivey (Trans, Acespec)

True Letters from a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan (?)

 

U

Under The Lights by Dahlia Adler (?)

Unexpected Gifts by Kris Ripper (?)

Unteachable by Elliot Wake writing as Leah Raeder (?)

Until You by TJ Klune (?)
 

V

Viral Airwaves by Claudie Arseneault (?)

 

W

Warming Trend by Karin Kallmaker (Lesbian)

We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson (?)

When The Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (?)

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore (?)

 

X

 

Y

You Can Still See Stars in Seattle by Kade Boehme (?)

You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

Your Happy End by EE Ottoman (?)

 

Z

Zi Yong and the Collector of Secrets by EE Ottoman (?)

 

Thank you so much to everyone who recommended these books for the list! I really appreciate all of you! 

​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!

​My 10 Favorite Bookstagram Accounts

So I randomly decided to do this because procrastination is my friend. Not really, but you’d think so given how much time we spend together. This list is in no particular order but I love all these accounts and thought you all might too!

 

katsyxo

 

booksaremarvellous

 

thebooksupplier

 

defenderofkittens

 

xx_kav_xx

 

paperpurity

 

deadwritersclub

 

thehogwartsbibliophile

 

novelparadise

 

jordz_the_bibliophile

 

Who are your favorite bookstagrammers?

Edit: I’m actually mad at myself for not putting singprettyreadbooks on this list, so I’m adding her anyway because she’s such a lovely person and her pictures are gorgeous!!

​April 2017 Wrap-Up

It’s the last day of April… Where has the time gone?! I really liked having a wrap-up last month because it reminded me of the things I managed to get done (instead of pointing at my glaring TBR) and also helped me be mindful of my goals for this month. So I’ll probably make wrap-ups a part of my usual monthly lineup. Let’s go ahead and wrap up April then!

 

Books I’ve Reviewed In April

Considering I hit a couple of pretty bad reading slumps, I managed to do pretty well for reviews this month. Here’s the list of books I’ve reviewed on my blog with links in case you’d like to give them a read.

 

Other Things I Did In April

I took part in five blog tours. Some of them still have active giveaways linked if you want to have a look.

Worked on my WIP a bit

Participated in four bookstagram challenges

  • #DiverseBookApr (hosted by @booksaremarvelous)
  • #aprilbookstagram (hosted by @pagewithaview and @readwithmikee)
  • #NKBTBApril (hosted by @novelknight and @readit_writenow)
  • #countdowntocandles (hosted by @paperlyandco)

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Here’s my updated Diverse Bingo 2017 Card. A couple of my current reads will go on after I’m finished with them but I’m lagging so here’s what I’ve got so far.

 

Books I Hope To Review In May

  • Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
  • The Traitor’s Tunnel by C. M. Spivey
  • Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

 

Other Things I Hope To Do In May

I’m scheduled for a few blog tours (and I’m super excited about them!!!!)

I want to continue working on my WIP which is going to mean a lot of research. That’s why I’ve cut back on my review goal and I’ll probably be a little bit less active here? But I want to make sure I really get this right and I know y’all will understand.

Participating in two instagram challenges

  • #DiverseBookMay (hosted by @booksaremarvelous — the May challenge also has an accompanying giveaway!!)
  • #bookstaBINGO May (hosted by @bookslayerreads)

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That’s all for now! Let me know how your April was in the comments or if you’ve read any of the books I’m planning to review let me know what you thought! Here’s hoping May will be awesome for all of us!

Book Blogger Hop 2017 #15

I know I missed last week! I have zero excuses. I was limited for time and it came down to writing my BBH post or finishing writing a chapter in my WIP. You can guess which one won.

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly Hop that is hosted by Billy @ Ramblings Of A Coffee Addicted Writer. Weekly prompts are given in the form of Blogger submitted (G-rated) questions.

When you feature a book in your posts, do you include a cover?

I always try to include a picture of the book I’ve taken, usually pulled from my bookstagram. On occasions such as blog tours where I don’t have a picture of the book on my bookstagram, I’ll use the cover image given to me by the tour organizer or publisher. I like to be able to give a visual of the book so people know what they’re looking for if they decide to purchase it. There are occasionally books with similar or the same name by different authors and I feel like providing an image helps them be able to know which book is the correct one. Also, a lot of covers coming out lately are GORGEOUS so showing them off is really fun!

Do you include a cover image of the books you feature in your blog posts?

March 2017 Wrap-Up

March is over and April has begun! Let’s smooth out the monthly transition with a wrap up, shall we?


 

Books I’ve Reviewed In March

I’ve actually managed to review a few more than I thought I would in March, especially considering the reading slump I’ve gotten into toward the end. Here’s a list of the books I reviewed on my blog (with links in case you decide you’d like to read them).

 

Other Things I Did In March

I also had a relatively productive month outside of reviewing. March was actually pretty awesome for me that way. A few of the non-review things I did are:

  • I started working in earnest on one of my WIPs
  • I read and reviewed three books for the Beat The Backlist Challenge (go Ravenclaw!!)
  • I was able to participate in the Book Blast for The Iron Queen by Jacob Devlin, which was so awesome and so much fun!
  • I completed the A Series of Unfortunate Events Book Tag, which was created by Erica Robyn Reads (check out her blog after you read this post because she’s lovely!) 
  • I participated in TWO bookstagram challenges (#marchbookstagram hosted by @pagewithaview and @readwithmikee AND #NKBTBMarch hosted by @NovelKnight and @ReadIt_WriteNow) and really enjoyed both of them. 

     

    Books I Hope To Review In April

    I’m trying not to be too ambitious and also not to include any books I’ve signed up for the blog tour for so this list might seem short but it’s honestly just the tip of the iceberg just in case I get overwhelmed or hit a slump. 

    • Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza (which is the April book for the Diversely Booked Book Club if you guys would like to join in on the read and chat) 
    • A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir 
    • Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer 
    • Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman 

     

    Other Things I Hope To Do In April

    • Continue making progress on my WIP (even if I continue at the glacial pace I seem to have adopted this past week) 
    • I’m scheduled for a few blog tours and I’m waiting to hear back on a few. I’m really, really excited about all of them!
    • I’ll be attempting THREE bookstagram challenges during April. I know. I don’t know what I’m thinking. Yes I do. They all look awesome and I can’t just pick. I’m going to be doing #aprilbookstagram (hosted by @pagewithaview and @readwithmikee), #NKBTBApril (hosted by @NovelKnight and @ReadIt_WriteNow), and #DiverseBookApr (hosted by @booksaremarvelous). I’m especially excited about that last one! 

     

    Anywho, that’s all for now. I probably won’t be around much today because of how much I hate April Fools Day, but I should be back around tomorrow. Welcome to April! I hope it’s a wonderful month for us all!!