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!

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!

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.

Avalon: Review

avalonAuthor: Mindee Arnett

Publisher: Balzer & Bray

Genre: Science Fiction

Summary: Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they’re damn good at it. Jeth doesn’t care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents’ ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he’ll go to get the freedom he’s wanted for so long. (Via Goodreads.)

Review:

I first picked up Avalon because it was described to me as “Teenage Firefly” and boy is that description apt. This novel is essential Firefly fan fiction.

I am a huge Firefly fan so the comparisons didn’t put me off but rather encouraged me to read and once I realised just how much like Firefly this novel was it didn’t make me want to stop reading. However, the issue with making a book so like a show that is as beloved as Firefly is that it is always going to fall a little flat and, for me, it did. It wasn’t that this book was bad but it was quite predictable in some ways (especially if you’ve seen Firefly) and there was just something about the characters, even though I liked them, I didn’t really connect with any of them; so their troubles and hardships didn’t really bother me as much as they should have.

With all of that being said the book is good. It’s action packed while still giving importance to the relationships (familial rather than romantic – although there is some of that). It’s a very visual book – in that I couldn’t help but picture it as a film which I think is a very good thing when you’re reading a sic-fi novel. At times it’s funny and sad. A very well rounded book in my opinion – even if it is a little average.

I think this is a very easy book to read (I read it in about two sittings), sometimes though the writing seemed a little middle-grade but as there are a wide range of characters with different ages I can’t really complain too much about that and for the most part it didn’t affect my reading or my enjoyment of the book.

Overall, I liked this book. It definitely wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever read but if you like science fiction and are a fan of Firefly I’d recommend you give this one a shot – just try to keep the show and book separate! I do want to read the sequel but I won’t be counting down the days for it.

3 Stars

Cinder: Review

cinderAuthor: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Genre: Fantasy/Dystopian

Summary: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. (via Goodreads.)

 

Review

I had heard nothing but great things about Cinder so I went into it expecting nothing but great things and I must admit I am a little disappointed.

Cinder is definitely an interesting book; a retelling of Cinderella as a Cyborg from the moon, I mean that is something to capture interest, and I did enjoy how the sic-fi elements mixed in with the traditional story of Cinderella, however the book did fall a little flat for me.

I did enjoy the story and I did very much enjoy the characters. I especially loved Cinder and Kai and Iko and Dr. Erland – they were all very interesting, very multifaceted and very compelling. The world itself was also incredible – I loved how a futuristic world could have the capacity to save peoples lives through cybernetics but then turn around and brand these people as “second class citizens”  it was a very intriguing twist to things and I loved the position it put Cinder in, especially when it came to her relationship with Kai and the rest of society.

My main issue with the book was it’s predictability. Now, I know it is a retelling of a very, very famous story so of course I was going to have some indication of what was going to happen and I accept that however I found the “major twists” to be insanely predictable as well. Without spoiling, I predicated the main twist on page 42 of 390. So when the time came to gasp and be shocked, I wasn’t. I simply nodded and thought, “Well, that was obvious.”

Now, that being said I did like Cinder, I enjoyed the world, I liked the characters. It was a fun, easy and quick read and I am looking forward to reading more. I will definitely be picking up Scarlet and maybe Cress – but the predictability of this book definitely downgraded it from a solid 4 Star tale to an average 3 but I still think it is worth a read.

3 Stars.

The 100: Review

the 100Author: Kass Morgan

Publisher: Hoddor Books

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction (Dystopia)

Summary: In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth’s toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland… before it’s too late.

Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they’ve only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they’re haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust – and even love – again. (Via Goodreads.)

 

Review

I am a huge fan of the 100 tv series so when I found out it was based on a book I went on a hunt for a copy and finally picked it up a few weeks ago. I read it pretty quickly, in one sitting, it’s a very short, very easy book to read but it wasn’t the greatest thing I’ve ever read.

I think the issue with the book is that I had seen the TV series first and so I wasn’t really surprised or worried about what was going to happen because for the most part they follow the book pretty okay (plot wise anyway). There are two main dilemmas in this book but I was aware of both of them due to the show so I was really just waiting for them to me mentioned as opposed to being shocked by them when they happened – that being said there were a few differences that I enjoyed – particularly Wells crime so I’m looking forward to learning more about that and seeing where it will go.

A lot of the characters are the same as the TV show too with a few differences Graham appears to be Murphy and some of his characteristics have been passed onto Bellamy and Bellamy’s have been passed onto Finn (who does not appear in the books which makes me laugh since I have the TV show-tie in cover so his face is right there in the middle of the book cover.) My biggest disappointment I will admit is that Jasper and Monty don’t appear in the book and as far as I can see there doesn’t appear to be a comedic substitutes so there aren’t many laughs in the book. It is rather bleak but I suppose that’s the point of a 100 kids stranded on earth waiting to either die or be rescued.

Ultimately I liked this book. It’s not the best thing ever written but it’s mildly entertaining so if you’re looking for something that’s quick and easy to read I’d say give it a shot.

I definitely preferred the tv show but I think I’ll pick up the sequel to this to see where it goes. (BTW Bellarke shippers – they’re actually kinda together in this.)

3 Stars.

 

Queen of the Tearling: Review

queen of tearlingAuthor: Erika Johansen

Publisher: Bantam Press

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret by foster parents after her mother – Queen Elyssa, as vain as she was stupid – was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea’s uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea’s 19th birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother’s guard – each pledged to defend the queen to the death – arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding…

And so begins her journey back to her kingdom’s heart, to claim the throne, earn the loyalty of her people, overturn her mother’s legacy and redeem the Tearling from the forces of corruption and dark magic that are threatening to destroy it. But Kelsea’s story is not just about her learning the true nature of her inheritance – it’s about a heroine who must learn to acknowledge and live with the realities of coming of age in all its insecurities and attractions, alongside the ethical dilemmas of ruling justly and fairly while simply trying to stay alive… (Via Goodreads)

Review

The Queen of the Tearling is a book that for me went back and forth between being very good and being very average. It was strange because when it was reading it I never wanted to put it down but when I did I was usually a bit hesitant to pick it back up.

This book does have a lot of things going for it. I really liked the characters, I thought they were well written and multifaceted but there were times when I felt like they were going in circles with their progression, especially Kelsea particularly when it came to trusting Lazarus the Mace, so at times that was a bit dull and repetitive but it was only a minor issue.  At times too the characters and their actions were kind of predictable and you can see certain plot lines that are going to unfold before they happen, I mean it wasn’t a bad predictability but a bit more mystery would have been nice.

My main issue with the Tearling was the world building. Johansen did do a good job of creating her world but I needed more background on it. When I first started reading I thought this book was set in medieval times and it is but it’s also in the future. Children are still reading Harry Potter which I thought was a nice touch but it definitely through me for a loop so I really hope we get more detail on that in future books.

Overall, I did enjoy this book. I finished it really quickly, I thought it was paced well and I thought the plot was interesting, if a bit tired, and while I thought it was better than good it wasn’t quite great. That being said I will pick up the sequel when it comes out and I will probably go see the film (starring Emma Watson, apparently) when it comes out.

3.5 Stars