Top Five Most Anticipated June Releases

A new month a whole bunch of new books to be released. June is a very exciting month for me in terms of book releases because of the first book on this list. I’m not even joking the sight of it alone makes me want to start squealing! With that being said lets jump into the list! Here are my Top Five Most Anticipated Releases of June 2015!

royal weddingAuthor: Meg Cabot

Publisher: William Morrow & Company

Genre: Contemporary

Expected Release Date: June 2nd 2015

Summary: For Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity, what with living in New York City, running her new teen community center, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements. And speaking of engagements. Mia’s gorgeous longtime boyfriend Michael managed to clear both their schedules just long enough for an exotic (and very private) Caribbean island interlude where he popped the question! Of course Mia didn’t need to consult her diary to know that her answer was a royal oui.
But now Mia has a scandal of majestic proportions to contend with: Her grandmother’s leaked “fake” wedding plans to the press that could cause even normally calm Michael to become a runaway groom. Worse, a scheming politico is trying to force Mia’s father from the throne, all because of a royal secret that could leave Genovia without a monarch. Can Mia prove to everyone–especially herself–that she’s not only ready to wed, but ready to rule as well? (Via Goodreads)

witch hunterAuthor: Virginia Boecker
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Expected Release Date: June 2nd 2015
Summary: Your greatest enemy isn’t what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king’s best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she’s accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that’s been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth’s witch hunting past–if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she’s thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate. (Via Goodreads)

judy blumeAuthor: Judy Blume
Publisher: Knoph
Genre: Contemporary/ Historical Fiction
Expected Release Date: June 2nd 2015
Summary: In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life. Thirty-five years earlier, when Miri was fifteen, and in love for the first time, a succession of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving a community reeling. Against this backdrop of actual events that Blume experienced in the early 1950s, when airline travel was new and exciting and everyone dreamed of going somewhere, she paints a vivid portrait of a particular time and place—Nat King Cole singing “Unforgettable,” Elizabeth Taylor haircuts, young (and not-so-young) love, explosive friendships, A-bomb hysteria, rumors of Communist threat. And a young journalist who makes his name reporting tragedy. Through it all, one generation reminds another that life goes on. (Via Goodreads)
levellerAuthor: Julia Durango
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Science Fiction
Expected Release Date: June 23rd 2015
Summary: Nixy Bauer is a self-made Leveller. Her job? Dragging kids out of virtual reality and back to their parents in the real world. It’s normally easy cash, but Nixy’s latest mission is fraught with real danger, intrigue, and romance.

Nixy Bauer is used to her classmates being very, very unhappy to see her. After all, she’s a bounty hunter in a virtual reality gaming world. Kids in the MEEP, as they call it, play entirely with their minds, while their bodies languish in a sleeplike state on the couch. Irritated parents, looking to wrench their kids back to reality, hire Nixy to jump into the game and retrieve them.

But when the game’s billionaire developer loses track of his own son in the MEEP, Nixy is in for the biggest challenge of her bounty-hunting career. Wyn Salvador isn’t some lazy kid looking to escape his homework: Wyn does not want to be found. And he’s left behind a suicide note. Nixy takes the job but quickly discovers that Wyn’s not hiding—he’s being held inside the game against his will. But who is holding him captive, and why?

Nixy and Wyn attempt to fight their way out of a mind game unlike any they’ve encountered, and the battle brings them closer than either could have imagined. But when the whole world is virtual, how can Nixy possibly know if her feelings are real? (Via Goodreads)

invasionAuthor: Erika Johansen
Publisher: Harper
Genre: Fantasy
Expected Release Date: June 9th 2015
Summary: With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.

But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling —and that of Kelsea’s own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out. (Via Goodreads)

And those are the five releases that I am most excited for! Be sure to let me know in the comments below if you’re edited for any of these books or if there are any other June releases that you are eagerly anticipating!
I will se you soon with a new post! Goodbyeee!

My True Love Gave To Me: Review

true loveAuthor: Stephanie Perkins, Holly Black, Laini Taylor, Gayle Forman, Ally Carter, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Kiersten White.

Publisher: Macmillian’s Children’s Books

Genre: Christmas Anthology

Summary: On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays. (Via Goodreads)

 

Review:

Take a good look at those authors…need anyone ask why I bought this? My True Love Gave To Me does not only feature some of my favourite authors it is also extremely beautiful! I mean look at it! It’s so beautiful in fact that anytime I try to take a picture of it my Instagram app crashes. Yup, it’s so beautiful that it crashed Instagram – Life Goals.

Given the authors that contributed to this anthology there was a lot of hype around this book and, for the most part, that hype was deserved. This book is very cute, very fluffy and overall quite Christmassy – it did exactly what it said on the tin and if you’re still looking for a last minute Christmas present for a book worm friend I would recommend this. Well worth the money and so, so beautiful!

Now there are twelve short stories, some shorter than others, and the majority of them are wonderful so here are some mini reviews for each!

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell – This one is really short, really sweet and really quite adorable.

The Lady and The Fox by Kelly Link – Simply stunning. This story was absolutely amazing, one of my favourites in the entire anthology. I want to read everything that Kelly Link has ever written and I want her to turn this short story into a full blown novel. Fantastic.

Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Pena – This one started out really well and I was set to name it one of my favourites but the ending left me a little cold. It was nice but slightly average towards the end.

Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han – I really did not like this story. It’s the shortest in the book, only five pages and barely that and it’s just not good. It had great potential but the ending is just s abrupt and random – I mean one more paragraph could have really ended this note and made it either really sweet or really sad but sweet but it just ended and ended badly. I do think it’s possibly the worst in the book.

It’s A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins – Fluffy, cute, adorable and quintessentially Stephanie Perkins. I loved this story, it was everything you want from Perkins and more. Wonderful, feel good story complete with cute guy. Magic.

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan – Not a favourite because there was a lot of backstory that was hinted at but couldn’t be elaborated on because, you know, short story but still very sweet, very christmassy and very nice.

Krampuslauf by Holly Black – This one started off really well, it was funny and really fun to read but I don’t think enough was done for it to have the ending that it did. It started off contemporary and suddenly for the final page it was fantasy and nobody so much as batted an eye so while it was good the ending didn’t feel quite right.

What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman – A Gayle Forman book that didn’t make me cry! It’s a Christmas Miracle! I love this one, it was really short and sweet and just left me with warm feelings. Exactly what you need on Christmas.

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire – There was nothing particularly wrong with this one other than I didn’t really like it. I can’t find a fault to it other than to say personal preference dictates no.

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White – Love, Love, Love. This story was sweet, poignant and perfectly Christmassy. One of my favourites.

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter – Wasn’t the biggest fan of this one. I liked the plot line but the entire thing was too rushed for me to really believe in it. I mean Ally Carter has convinced me that teenagers can rob the Henley Museum but I couldn’t quite suspend my disbelief for this one.

The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor – Perfect. It was rich, enthralling and just so, so beautiful. The perfect story to end on.

Overall, this anthology was fantastic. There were a few let downs in there but there always are but overall well worth a read.

4 Stars.

Blog Tour: Finding Her Way Back

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finding her way backAuthor: Heather Van Fleet

Publisher: Swoon Romance

Genre: New Adult Romance

Summary: Meet Callie, a chubby-sexy nineteen-year-old girl who fears high heels, commitments, and has a love/hate relationship with her running shoes. Nine months of college down the drain and all she has to show for it is her freshman thirty.

But alas, life has other crap plans for her–one that includes a strict regiment of “do this and do that” from her she-devil sister, all while trying to avoid the unavoidable. The unavoidable being Ky: the ex-best friend-turned-sex god who lives across the street.

Meet Ky; a nineteen-year-old wanna be country music singer and a boy-turned-man who still wears a proverbial skateboard around his neck from wasted high school days. When Callie returns home, he realizes that she’s exactly the muse he’s been missing all this time.

Now, if only she can stop running long enough to find out where their love could lead. Finding Her Way Back is a new adult novel about finding love while learning how to love yourself. For all the chubby-sexy girls who tend to feel invisible, this one’s for you

Disclaimer: I received this book for free as part of YA Bound Book Tours. 

Review:

When I first received Finding Her Way Back I expected it to be a sexy tale about the boy next door and, to an extent, it was but it was also so much more. It was about family, it was about loss and struggling to move on and it was wonderful.

There are some issues with the book – the plot is a little convoluted. I mean how much can one family take? But I loved Callie’s voice and how strong and powerful it was throughout the book – even when she was struggling and breaking down. I really felt for Callie, I rooted for her, I loved her. She was a wonderful lead character.

I did not like Callie’s family. They may have been loving (except Anna but reasons) but they were dysfunctional as hell and at times they were boarding on annoying but it didn’t distract from enjoyment of the book.  I very much felt that this was Callie’s story and her family had to be a part of it and even though they had their own stuff I mainly saw everything from Callie’s POV and didn’t sympathise with her family as much – or at all.

I also really enjoyed Ky’s story – even if it was very Callie centric (but as I said it’s Callie’s story.) I am usually wary when it comes to dual POV’s because I worry the voices won’t be distinctive enough but that wasn’t an issue here. Ky’s voice was just as strong as Callie’s and while I liked Ky (he’s very sexy.) I do think more could have been done with his storyline.

Overall, Finding Her Way Back is a sweet, sexy (very!) book with some powerful moments but it still remains an easy read. I would recommend it.

3 Stars.

 About the Author:

heather van fleetMidwestern native Heather Van Fleet lives in a small town on the Iowa/Illinois border. She’s a wife to her hubby–and high school sweet heart–Chris, as well as a mom to her three little girls, Kelsey, Emma and Bella. When she’s not obsessing over her fictional book characters, cooking dinner, or running around chasing her crazy kiddos, you can usually find her with her head stuck in her Kindle, sucking down White Chocolate Mochas like they’re water.

To learn more about Heather Van Fleet and her books, visit her website.You can also find her onGoodreadsFacebook, and Twitter.

Where She Went: Review

where she wentAuthor: Gayle Forman

Publisher: Definitions

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Summary:It’s been three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life.

And three years he’s spent wondering why.

When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.

Adam finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay their past to rest, for good – or can you really have a second chance at first love? (Via Goodreads.)

 

Review:

Where She Went is the sequel to If I Stay, set three years after Mia’s accident she and Adam reunite for one night in New York where they try and figure out what went wrong for them, and it is beautiful.

Gayle Forman for me is like Stephanie Perkins when it comes to contemporaries, she can do no wrong, however her doing no wrong usually leads to me being emotionally compromised.

Where She Went is told from the point of view of Adam Wilde, Mia’s boyfriend in If I Stay, and it focuses on him, how he was affected by Mia’s accident and the death of her family and Mia’s subsequent abandonment, what his life is like now as a successful albeit troubled rock star and it is wonderful. I’ve read a few reviews where people have said that Where She Went is not as good as If I Stay and I disagree. I think it is just as good it’s just different. Where She Went focuses on the person who doesn’t get hurt, the person who helps pick up the pieces, the person who is not allowed grieve because they are not considered “close enough family”, the person who ultimately is left behind. It is so intense and so moving and very, very powerful just like If I Stay was.

The writing is beautiful, the characters are incredible, it’s an intense, breathless journey, very reminiscent of Before Sunrise/Sunset in it’s setting. It packs an emotional punch and ugh it was just terrific. I could find no fault with it. Just stunning. I adored it and I would be very happy to see this adapted also.

5 Stars.

 

Top Five Most Anticipated Releases: September 2014

Another month, another batch of books just off the printing presses that I want and can’t afford. (I got a lotto ticket for my birthday, it didn’t work out…I’d rather not talk about it.) September is a fantastic month for new releases so it was really hard narrowing it down to five but I managed and here they are!

heir of fireAuthor: Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Expected Release Date: September 2nd

Summary: Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love? (Via Goodreads.)

Thoughts: I think everyone in the world is anticipating this book. I’ve been counting down the days since I finished Crown of Midnight and I was super excited to see that it was going to be released on my birthday – it’s like we were made for each other!

trial by fireAuthor: Josephine Angelini

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Expected Release Date: September 2nd

Summary: This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily’s other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected. (Via Goodreads.)

Thoughts: A girl in an alternate world fighting an evil version of herself? Yeah, I want this! Like now. Another birthday release date so clearly I’m supposed to buy it.

illusions of fateAuthor: Kiersten White

Publisher: HarperTeen

Expected Release Date: September 9th

Summary: Dive into a world of enchantment and romance in this lush fantasy, which Stephanie Perkins, international bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss, called “an absolute delight—a magical, sparkling, dangerous world with witty repartee and a romance that will light your heart on fire.” Fans of Libba Bray and Cassandra Clare will fall in love with this captivating stand-alone novel from Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy.

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets the gorgeous, enigmatic Finn, who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status . . . and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, and the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess them. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits, can stop him. (Via Goodreads.)

Thoughts: Historical fiction fantasy that Stephanie Perkins likes with birds on the cover? It really doesn’t take much more to convince me!

blackbirdAuthor: Anna Carey

Publisher: HarperTeen

Expected Release Date: September 16th

Summary: This twisty, breathless cat-and-mouse thrill ride, told in the second person, follows a girl with amnesia in present-day Los Angeles who is being pursued by mysterious and terrifying assailants.

A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. With only minutes to react, she hunches down and the train speeds over her. She doesn’t remember her name, where she is, or how she got there. She has a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of a blackbird inside a box, letters and numbers printed just below: FNV02198. There is only one thing she knows for sure: people are trying to kill her.

On the run for her life, she tries to untangle who she is and what happened to the girl she used to be. Nothing and no one are what they appear to be. But the truth is more disturbing than she ever imagined.

The Maze Runner series meets Code Name Verity, Blackbird is relentless and action-packed, filled with surprising twists. (Via Goodreads.)

Thoughts: Birds and amnesia and nearly getting crushed by a train- it’s just everything I look for in life.

afterworlds scott westerfelfAuthor: Scott Westerfeld

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Expected Release Date: September 23rd

Summary: Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she’s made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings…

Told in alternating chapters is Darcy’s novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the ‘Afterworld’ to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved – and terrifying – stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most. (Via Goodreads.)

Thoughts: It’s a contemporary and a fantasy novel all rolled into one. I need it like I need pizza.

So those are my top five September releases. If you have any books you’re excited for in September please let me know in the comments so I can check them out!

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Perfect Scoundrels: Review

perfect scoundrelsAuthor: Ally Carter

Publisher: Orchard Books

Summary: Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the son of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it’s that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting-or stealing-whatever they want. No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale’s family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother’s billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there’s no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won’t let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother’s will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company’s fortune. Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she’s willing to save her boyfriend’s company if it means losing the boy. (Via Goodreads.)

Review: Oh Ally Carter, how I adore you.

There are times in life when you want a complicated book, a heavy book, a book that will win the Man Booker prize and then there are times when you want a fun book, a breezy book, a book that doesn’t take itself too seriously but still manages to be amazing. That my friends is this book.

Perfect Scoundrels is the third book in the Heist Society series and centres around teenage thief Kat Bishop and her equally fabulous teenage crew. Much like the previous books, the writing of Perfect Scoundrels is snappy, the dialogue is funny, the pace is perfection, the characters are engaging and the actual heist itself is sensational – mostly because you don’t know exactly how it all works until the very end. So, it’s more than fun to try and figure out.

Carter’s characters in Heist Society are just amazing. I love that they really are expert thieves but are still very much teenagers. There is teasing, bad flirting, first love and the difficulty of trying to label your first relationship and, of course, the awkward moment when your boyfriend meets your family. It’s so sweet and so funny and I adore it.

In most Heist Society books, the plot is focused on the heist however that takes a bit of a back seat in this book as the mark Kat and her crew are trying to protect is Hale, Kat’s super-rich boyfriend, so the focus is more on the relationships which I loved. I love the familial relationship that exists between Kat and her crew and we get to see more of that in Perfect Scoundrels but the plot also allows for the inclusion of Kat’s more immediate and extended family and it was just fantastic as all the Bishops are eccentric and hilarious. Possibly one of my favourite literary families. I loved it.

Perfect Scoundrels is easy, breezy, fun and funny – it’s practically a CoverGirl cosmetic and I adored it. Well worth a read.

4 Stars.

 

Drawing Amanda: Review

drawing amandaAuthor: Stephanie Feuer

Publisher: Hipso Media

Summary: DRAWING AMANDA is set in the under-parented, high-expectation world of a Manhattan international prep school. Fourteen-year-old budding artist Inky Kahn is still smarting from the death of his father. He thinks he’s found his big break when he bonds with the developer of a new computer game and snags a coveted drawing assignment, for which he uses his secret crush–Amanda–as a model.

But unbeknownst to Inky, the developer has a dangerous past, and is using his computer game to lure and stalk teenage girls. And Inky has inadvertently led Amanda right into his path. Blinded by his own ambition and sulking from his father’s death, Inky hides from the truth. Will Inky, with the help of Rungs, his cybergeek pal, discover the treachery in time and save Amanda before the creep ensnares her–or anyone else? (Via Goodreads.)

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Review: Drawing Amanda reads as a cautionary tale, a warning about the dangers of the internet and a reminder that even the smartest of kinds can be lured in by an internet predator if he pays attention to them however that is not all that this book is about. It is also about grief, alienation and trying to fit in and these are dealt with more primarily in the book which sometimes made the main plot line of the internet predator feels like a secondary plot device that was not overly important and that, for me, was the weak point of the book.

The main character, Inky, is still dealing with the death of his father while Amanda has just moved school yet again but this time is without the protection and guidance of her older brothers and struggles to fit in. These issues are what make them susceptible to the charming manipulations of Woody but a lot more focus is given to these issues than the actual manipulation which made the book feel quite slow in places. I, personally, would have preferred if we saw more of the kids interactions with Woody and how he groomed them. However if that was done then perhaps the books would have been too dark for it’s age group, despite this. it does serve as a warning and insight into the dangers of the internet without being too dark.

I did enjoy this book it just took me awhile to get into it. With all the switching between the characters and their issues the pace was a little slow and sometimes the characters were a bit annoying. It did take me quite a wile to warm up to Inky and Amanda but towards the end I did really start to like them. I loved Rungs from the get go. He was funny, smart and was the only one of the characters to truly understand the danger of the situation that they had found themselves in. I think I would have enjoyed this book a bit more if he had been the main character. If you’re an artist I do believe you’ll adore Inky though.

Overall, I did enjoy this book. I loved how creepy and manipulative Woody was and how he lured these kids in and I especially loved their reactions to discovering what he was. First denial, then feeling the need to protect him and then acceptance. I thought it was very realistic and true to form. I also received the enhance edition ebook which meant my copy was illustrated and at times animated and this was beautiful and stunning and really made Inky’s work come to life.

I do think I was a little too old for this book. I’d definitely recommend it from middle grade to age sixteen but I still did like it.

3.5 Stars.