Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 End of The Year Survey


I haven't done this survey from Jaime at Perpetual Page Turner since...um 2014?? I am very lazy, don't judge me. BUT since I had New Year's Eve off, I figured I would attempt to do it again this year. This took me all day to do this, so I hope you enjoy my efforts! Here we go!
*As a quick note, a lot of the links to books are my amazon associates links. It just means that if you click into them and buy anything through it I get some portions of advertising fees from amazon. It's at NO COST to you.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

#ARCReview: You'd Be Mine By Erin Hahn

You'd Be Mine by Erin Hahn
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: April 2nd, 2019
Format: Egalley*
My Rating: ★ 1/2
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.
 
TRIGGER WARNINGS: Suicide, Drug use & Alcoholism

This book was an interesting one, but I have to be the first to admit that Country Music is really not my thing, and since this book was about young Country Music stars it didn't really fit with the type of stuff I read. That is totally on the reader in me, not on the book itself, so I would take my review with a little grain of salt. This book just wasn't for me, but I still was invested in the characters that I was glad I read it. It's a solid book, just not one I would be shouting at everyone to drop everything to read it.

Friday, December 21, 2018

#ARC Review: The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: January 15th, 2019

Format: egalley*

My Rating: 1/2

GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can't yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they'll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.
I was a little unsure about this novel from Roshani Chokshi, mostly because I am SUPER picky when it comes to historical fiction. I'm not really into Regency or Victorian era books, so when I saw that this one took place in 1889, I was really skeptical that I was actually going to enjoy it. However, Chokshi's awesome writing and her ability to craft a awesome alternate history world put my fears at rest.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Deanna Plays: Gwent Gets a Major Upgrade


Deanna Plays is a monthly feature on this blog where every third Thursday of the month I talk about something related to video games. Sometimes these are reviews of the games themselves, sometimes it's a list of books to read if you play X, and anything in between!

Today I am going to be talking about Gwent, the free strategy card game from the makers of The Witcher 3, CD Projekt Red. 

via GIPHY


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

#TopTenTuesday: Winter 2018 #TBR


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Let's see what I pretend I actually will read before the year is over! Most of these are going to be ARCs because I need to get my shit together and actually read all the ARCs in my queue.

*as a note, some of these links below are my affiliate links, which means I may receive a portion of the advertising. It's at NO cost to you!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Bookish Thoughts: Howl's Moving Castle Book Vs. Movie SPOILERS


I haven't posted on Bookish Thoughts in a long time, so I finally have something new to talk about. I recently reviewed the Audiobook of Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. Recently we watched the Studio Ghibli adaptation, so I wanted to put together a Bookish Thoughts to discuss the differences and how I feel about them. There will definitely be spoilers ahead, so be forewarned!

Read on if you don't mind SPOILERS!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Audiobook Review: Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Publisher: Recorded Books
Release Date: November, 4th, 2008
Format:
 Audiobook narrated by Jenny Sterlin
My Rating: 

GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
A Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book and ALA Notable and Best of the Year in Young Adult Fiction, Howl's Moving Castle is by acclaimed fantasy writer Diane Wynne Jones amd was transformed into an Academy Award nominated animated motion picture by Hayao Miyazaki. On a rare venture out from her step-mother's hat shop, Sophie attracts the attention of a witch, who casts a terrible spell transforming the young girl into an old crone. 
I knew that Howl's Moving Castle was a movie, but I didn't know that it was actually based on a book! I only found out because it was on sale with Audible a few months ago, so I snapped it up. This book actually came out in the late 80s, so it's a bit dated, but the way it's written makes it not feel dated because it does feel like it's written in an earlier time so it doesn't feel like the modern time makes a difference.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

ARC Review: The Good Ones by Jenn McKinlay

The Good Ones by Jenn McKinlay
Publisher: Berkley Books
Release Date: February, 5th, 2019
Format: egalley*

My Rating: 

GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
A romance bookstore owner finds her own happily ever after with a single dad in a new romance series from the New York Times bestselling author of Every Dog Has His Day.

Ryder Copeland is an accomplished architect and one heck of a father...not to mention tall and sexy. He's everything a hero should be, and Lord knows, Maisy Kelly has read enough of her great-aunt Eloise's romance novels to recognize one when she sees one. But like all fairy tales, Maisy can't help but wonder if this Prince Charming is too good to be true...

Ryder is drawn to the shy, curly haired professor who hires him to convert the Victorian house she's inherited from her aunt into a romance bookstore. Attracted to a woman for the first time since his divorce, Ryder finds himself wishing for a future with Maisy that he knows is impossible. Ryder has never wavered from his plan to leave the small town of Fairdale, North Carolina, so he can give his daughter the life she deserves. But suddenly he's not so sure. And the closer he gets to Maisy, the harder it's going to be to walk away.
I don't usually read what I would consider traditional romance books, but that doesn't mean I am opposed to them. I tend to like YA romance books better just because there is less sex in them. I am not opposed to reading adult romance books, and I have started to consider that I actually do really like books where the main focus is on the romance. Here's the great thing about romance books that it took me a really long time to figure out, the women in these books have a lot of agency and they are always getting what they want. So this book, The Good Ones by Jenn McKinlay is definitely what I would consider a "traditional romance book" but I still wanted to give it a try, and turns out I did really like it!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Audiobook Review: A Potion to Die for By Heather Blake

A Potion to Die for By Heather Blake
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Release Date: November, 15th 2013
Format: Audiobook narrated by Carla Mercer-Meyer

My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
TROUBLE IS BREWING…

As the owner of Little Shop of Potions, a magic potion shop specializing in love potions, Carly Bell Hartwell finds her product more in demand than ever. A local soothsayer has predicted that a couple in town will soon divorce—and now it seems every married person in Hitching Post, Alabama, wants a little extra matrimonial magic to make sure they stay hitched.

But when Carly finds a dead man in her shop, clutching one of her potion bottles, she goes from most popular potion person to public enemy number one. In no time the murder investigation becomes a witch hunt—literally! Now Carly is going to need to brew up some serious sleuthing skills to clear her name and find the real killer—before the whole town becomes convinced her potions really are to die for!
 

I wouldn't normally have picked up this book, or have even discovered it had Jorie from Jorie Loves a Story not raved about the audiobook narrator on twitter. It just so happened that my library had this on overdrive, and I put it on hold not expecting to get it so soon! I actually read this back in November, but held my review since I had been focusing on SciFi reads last month. If you like cozy mystery with a dash of magic, this book is for you!


Sunday, December 9, 2018

#BeattheBacklist2019 Reading Challenge


I've never participated in Beat the Backlist before, and I'm not sure why not! This is the perfect thing for me to participate in because I am always reading older books and I am always so behind on all the books I want to read. You can check out the full event on Novel Knight's blog

This year there is even a fun little mini-event to declare your Harry Potter House and when you read books you earn House points. It's just for fun, but I'm declaring my allegiance to House Ravenclaw!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Review Cross Ups: Anyone's Game By Sylv Chiang

Cross Ups: Anyone's Game By Sylv Chiang
Publisher: Annick Press*
Release Date: September 11th, 2018
Format: Hardback

My Rating: ★1/2
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
What’s up with Cali? Why does she keep changing her gamer tag?

It’s summertime, and even though his good friend Cali moved to another city, Jaden can connect with her online almost every day to play their favorite game, Cross Ups. His mom has loosened her rules on how often he can play, and he has an amazing new controller that will make him even better at tournaments. But then he gets roped into a dorky summer camp with his buddy Hugh, and Cali starts acting really weird . . . So when a last-minute tournament spot opens up in Cali’s city, Jaden jumps at the chance to go. 

But things go badly from the start. Jaden loses his controller on the train, and his reunion with Cali is awkward. She’s unhappy, and Jaden can’t figure out why, especially when she’s getting better and better at Cross Ups—and may even win the tournament. 

With its sharp dialogue and relatable characters, Anyone’s Game, the second book in the Cross Ups series, chronicles the ups and downs of middle school with a relevant, contemporary twist.

Thanks to Annick Press for sending me the second book of Sylv Chiang's Cross Ups Series!

In the second book, we see a little more of how Cali is fairing in Montreal with her Dad and his new girlfriend. Cali is having a really tough time, but it's not just because of having to live with a screaming baby sister. I think Cali's life can be relatable to a lot of kids of divorced parents. It's tough for kids enough in middle school trying to find their place in life, so Cali's struggles felt very real to me. I appreciated that the author wanted to tackle the topic of harassment in gaming and what female gamers go through, but I feel like it falls a little flat with it coming from Jaden's perspective. I think this story would have been more impactful if it came from Cali's point of view.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Review Cross Ups: Tournament Trouble by Sylv Chiang

Tournament Trouble
Publisher: Annick Press*
Release Date: March 13th, 2018
Format: Hardback

My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
An exciting new middle reader series from a debut author.

All twelve-year-old Jaden wants to do is be the best at Cross Ups, the video game he and his friends can’t stop playing. He knows he could be―if only he didn’t have to hide his gaming from his mom, who’s convinced it will make him violent. After an epic match leads to an invitation to play in a top tournament, Jaden and his friends Devesh and Hugh hatch a plan to get him there. But Jaden’s strict parents and annoying siblings, not to mention a couple of bullies and his confusing feelings for his next-door neighbor Cali, keep getting in the way!

Tournament Trouble marks the first book in a planned series by Sylv Chiang, a captivating new voice in middle reader fiction. With sharp dialogue and relatable characters, it chronicles the ups and downs of middle school with a relevant, contemporary twist. Accompanied by Connie Choi’s lively illustrations, Tournament Trouble invites readers into Jaden’s world, and will leave them eagerly awaiting his next adventure.
 

I don't normally read a lot of middle grade, but when the publisher reached out to me because of my interest in video games, I jumped on the chance to start this series.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

#TopTenTuesday: Winter Reads


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week's topic is Cozy or Wintry Reads. I feel like half of these are going to be books about hockey, because you know my MO. I'm not sure if i'm actually going to make it to ten books here, but let's try! 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Holiday Gifts for The Book Lover in Your life


I don't usually do posts like this, but in the spirit of the holidays and because I'm basically stalking #TBTBSanta on twitter right now, I wanted to put together my two cents with a holiday gift guide for the bookish lover in your life. If you don't know about #TBTBSanta it's a secret Santa gift exchange that is hosted my The Broke and The Bookish. Sign ups are already closed, and I'm ahead of the game having already sent my package out, but now I want to find out who has me! Who has me??

Sunday, December 2, 2018

#RRSciFiMonth November Wrap Up


November is over, which means that #RRSciFiMonth is now over! I feel like I didn't read and review as much as I wanted to. I also wanted to do more discussion posts, but I also was trying to do NANOWRIMO this year for the first time so I was splitting my free time trying to do both. Then Spyro Reignited came out, so I got sucked into that. So safe to say I FAILED at NANOWRIMO, but that's okay at least I tried. This wrap up post is going to be very scifi heavy since we are wrapping up the event! 

For December, I might be a little sparse on the blog. I'm a little behind on reviews and books for review requests, so I'm hoping to get some reviews posted, but I tend to go a little dark after SciFi Month, especially due to the Holidays. This year, I'm traveling again for Christmas, and I know I'm not going to have internet, so definitely not going to be writing a lot of posts then. Hopefully I can schedule stuff beforehand!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

ARC Review: White Stag by Kara Barbieri

White Stag by Kara Barbieri
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: January 9th, 2019
Format: egalley*

My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
The first book in a brutally stunning series where a young girl finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.
 
This is one of those books that upfront I was not really a fan of and was really unsure of but by the end I was pretty happy with how it ended. It's also one of those books that I have a hard time figuring out how to review it. I gave the book the benefit of the doubt with these, because this is a debut so improvement can always be made on your writing.