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!
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April & May Book Haul

Long time no book haul!

I have been really busy for the apart few months so even though I bought some books in April when I was in London I didn’t get a chance to haul them! So, instead of having a book haul mid-May I thought why not wait and combine my April and May book hauls? And here it is! I bought a good few books (some Children’s and Fantasy) in the last two months so lets just get right into it!

mogAuthor: Judith Kerr

Genre: Children’s Picture Books

Publisher: HarperCollins UK

Summary: Mog always seems to be in trouble because she is such a very forgetful cat. She forgets that she has a cat flap and she forgets when she has already eaten her supper. But one night, when an uninvited visitor turns up at the house, Mog’s forgetfulness comes in very handy! (Via Goodreads)

the little princeAuthor: Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Genre: Children’s Classics

Publisher: Harcourt, Inc

Summary: Moral allegory and spiritual autobiography, The Little Prince is the most translated book in the French language. With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures. (Via Goodreads)

very good livesAuthor: JK Rowling

Genre: Non-Fiction/Inspiration

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Summary: In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now published for the first time in book form, Very Good Lives offers J.K. Rowling’s words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life, asking the profound and provocative questions: How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others?

Drawing from stories of her own post-graduate years, the world-famous author addresses some of life’s most important issues with acuity and emotional force. (Via Goodreads)

ready player oneAuthor: Ernest Cline

Genre: Science-Fiction

Publisher: Random House

Summary: In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape (Via Goodreads)

court of thons and rosesAuthor: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s

Summary: When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever. (Via Goodreads)

winnieAuthor: A.A. Milne

Genre: Children’s Classics

Publisher: Egmont UK

Summary:  A.A. Milne’s ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ stories need no introduction. They have been loved by generations of children ever since Pooh, Christopher Robin, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga and Roo, and Eeyore made their first appearance. (Via Goodreads)

the bad beginningAuthor: Lemony Snicket

Genre: Children’s Middle Grade

Publisher: Egmont Books LTD

Summary: Dear Reader,

I’m sorry to say that the book you are holding in you hands is extremely unpleasant.It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children.Even though they are charming and clever,the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. (Via Goodreads)

gracelingAuthor: Kristin Cashore

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Gollancz

Summary: Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight–she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graces as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po’s friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace–or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away. (Via Goodreads)

name of the windAuthor: Patrick Rothfuss

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Gollancz

Summary: Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard. (Via Goodreads)

lies of lockeAuthor: Scott Lynch

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Gollancz

Summary: The Thorn of Camorr is said to be an unbeatable swordsman, a master thief, a friend to the poor, a ghost that walks through walls.

Slightly built and barely competent with a sword, Locke Lamora is, much to his annoyance, the fabled Thorn. And while Locke does indeed steal from the rich (who else would be worth stealing from?), the poor never see a penny. All of Locke’s gains are strictly for himself and his tight-knit band of thieves. The Gentleman Bastards.

The capricious, colourful underworld of the ancient city of Camorr is the only home they have ever known. But now a clandestine war is threatening to tear it apart. Caught up in a murderous game, Locke and his friends are suddenly struggling just to stay alive…(Via Goodreads)

station 11Author: Emily St. John Mandel

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Picador

Summary:  One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek: “Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.

Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleventells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it. (Via Goodreads)

And those are all the books I got in the months of April and May! If you’ve read any of these books be sure to let me know in the comments below! Goodbyeee!

Sabriel: Review

sabriel

Author: Garth Nix

Publisher: HarperCollins

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him.

With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen trilogy, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn’t always clear—and sometimes disappears altogether. (Via Goodreads.)

Review:

What’s this a review? I know, I’m equally shocked. 

I started reading Sabriel over a month ago just as I hit a bit of a reading slump so Sabriel definitely suffered as a result of it. I just could not get into Sabriel. The book, my version anyway, is only 364 pages but it took me until page 300 to actually really get into the story and the world so that was a bit disappointing.

I can’t really fault this book, I didn’t hate it, I didn’t like it, it was all rather meh to me. I felt indifferent to Sabriel and Touchstone, I liked Moggot but, again, not as much as I was expecting to, overall, I was rather underwhelmed. I had heard such great things about Sabriel and Garth Nix (I mean Sarah J. Maas, my Queen of Queens loves it) but I just didn’t connect with it, at all.

However, I will say that once I hit page 300 I got interested. I’m not sure why but here I emerged from my reading slump and finished the book rather quickly and while I still didn’t love it, I liked it, it was fine and it intrigued me enough that I think I will pick up the sequel but I’m definitely not going to be rushing out for it.

3 Stars.

The Prince of Mist: Review

prince of mistAuthor: Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Publisher: Little, Brown Books

Genre: Historical Fiction

Summary: A mysterious house harbors an unimaginable secret. . . .

It’s wartime, and the Carver family decides to leave the capital where they live and move to a small coastal village where they’ve recently bought a home. But from the minute they cross the threshold, strange things begin to happen. In that mysterious house there still lurks the spirit of Jacob, the previous owners’ son, who died by drowning.

With the help of their new friend Roland, Max and Alicia Carver begin to explore the suspicious circumstances of that death and discover the existence of a mysterious being called The Prince of Mist—a diabolical character who has returned from the shadows to collect on a debt from the past. Soon the three friends find themselves caught up in an adventure of sunken ships and an enchanted stone garden, which will change their lives forever. (Via Goodreads.)

Review:

I am a big Carlos Ruiz Zafon fan! So I was delighted to receive The Prince of Mist for Christmas unfortunately I did not like it as much as I was expecting to.

Firstly, it turned out to be a middle grade novel which I’m not usually big fan of to begin with and to make it slightly worse the writing was very inconsistent throughout. Sometimes it struck me as being written for adults and then at other times I was very aware that it was written for children so that annoyed me and it did make it difficult for me to fully immerse myself in the plot.

As for the plot itself it was very entertaining. It was rich and frightening and very wonderful but the writing let it down.

The characters too were a bit odd. While being very interesting and compelling the character of Max felt too old for his supposed age and while i know some kids are more mature than there age Max felt more early twenties then thirteen.

Overall, it was an interesting read but not quite as wonderful as I wanted it to be.

3 Stars

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.

Defiance: Review

defianceAuthor: C.J. Redwine

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.

When Rachel’s father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city’s brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father’s apprentice, Logan—the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making. (Via Goodreads)

Review:

Defiance is a very fast paced book, from page one you are immediately tossed into the action but it doesn’t detract from the world building of the series. You get a great understanding of all the characters and the world they live in while they are doing something really interesting; you get background on Logan when he’s buying weapons, you learn about the standing of women in the world while Rachel is scaling a wall and you see how evil the Commander is as he runs people down on his horse while battling the Cursed One. It is very fast paced, very dramatic and very action-y while still having some very nice dept to it.

However, the book did slow down for me particularly towards the middle and the end. I don’t know what it was but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as when Rachel and Logan were facing off against the Commander in Baalboden. There was just a bit more political intrigue there and I found that a bit more interesting than walking through the Wasteland – but I did still find the book enjoyable and I did read it very quickly.

The story is told using a dual POV (Rachel and Logan’s) which I don’t usually like as I think some authors have issues making the voices distinctive enough (see Allegiant) but I did really enjoy it here. I loved the back and forth between Rachel and Logan and seeing their different perspectives on how everything works in Baalboden and their interactions. I especially loved the Choosing Ceremony scene when Rachel comes out in the dress and Logan looses his shit. It was amazing!

I also really liked the budding romance between Logan and Rachel. I thought it was really sweet and cute but, once again, towards the end of the book it left me a little cold because of the obvious Love Triangle being set up and I was like “NAAAH” (Voldemort sounds.)

Overall, I did really enjoy this book, the ending did leave me wanting and a little cold but I’m definitely invested enough to pick up the sequel.

4 Stars.

The Retribution of Mara Dyer: Review

retribution of mara dyerAuthor: Michelle Hodkin

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Genre: Paranormal

Summary: Mara Dyer wants to believe there’s more to the lies she’s been told.
There is.

She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She should.

She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
She will now.

Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.
Retribution has arrived. (Via Goodreads.)

Review:

The Retribution of Mara Dyer is the final book in the Mara Dyer trilogy by Michelle Hodkin. The Mara Dyer series is a very interesting one for me because I know I like but if you asked me to explain it to you I wouldn’t have a clue what to say. It is safe to say that for most of this series I didn’t have a fucking clue about what was going on – the same goes for Retribution but still really enjoyed it. Yeah, let that sink in.

I really enjoyed this book. I love Michelle Hodkin’s writing, especially her dialogue! She does sassy and witty better than almost anyone else. The relationship and back and forth between Mara and Jamie is absolutely fantastic, so snarky and so funny. They have such a wonderful friendship. Of course, the relationship between Mara and Noah is quite addicting – they are so dysfunctional but I can’t help but want them together so I was quite happy with certain parts of this book *wink wink*

Mara too is one of my favourite protagonists, not because she’s particularly likeable but because she’s complex and multifaceted and she’s very aware of her own darkness and I loved her growth in this book and her acceptance of herself. I thought it was wonderful. (She is annoying at times, yes, but so is everybody.)

Overall, I was really happy with this book. A lot of questions were answered, it was funny, it was sweet and it was fucked up – everything you expect from Mara Dyer but it was not the most satisfying of endings. There are a lot of loose ends left, a lot of questions that I wanted answers to that we just didn’t get and I was a bit disappointed by that – I just needed a few more chapters but alas no.

While I did enjoy Retribution it’s not the most satisfying of conclusions. I am still slightly confused but what else did I expect? It’s Mara Dyer.

4 Stars.