Sunday, March 29, 2015

Most Anticipated Releases: Spring 2015 (April-June)

I have a feeling that this a going to be a pretty good time for YA releases! I feel like there is usually a surge of great new releases in Spring and Fall, or is that just me?

The Obvious

The Not-So-Obvious

Monday, March 16, 2015

Let's Talk : Cover Reveals (Winter 2015)

Is it just me or have there been quite a few book cover reveals in the past few weeks? Maybe it just seems that way to me because two of my most anticipated books had cover reveals just a few days apart and my excitement is at a high. 
Anyway, I thought I'd round up some of the big cover reveals that happened recently and share my thoughts. Let's start with the one and only cover that I did not like.

The Rose Society by Marie Lu - This cover was 100% disappointing. I was excited about seeing the cover because I enjoyed The Young Elites, the first book and the series, and was looking forward to the next installment but the cover was a major letdown. I mean, the book is called "The ROSE Society" so you would expect a rose on the cover or at least something red, right? The Young Elites is more vague so you can get away with a just putting dark clouds on the cover but putting waves and a wolf, with no flower in sight, on the cover of a book called The Rose Society... I was so so so disappointed with this. I'll still be reading the book but I'm not eager to buy it.

The good news is that all the other covers are actually pretty great. So let's move on to the good stuff, starting from least exciting to most exciting.

Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes - This is actually a really gorgeously awesome cover. The only reason it's the least exciting is because it's the fourth book in a series in which I'm still on the second book. The Falling Kingdoms series my Morgan Rhodes seems very exciting, and I say "seems" because I've only read the first book which is usually not enough to get a good grasp on a fantasy series, especially not a big, six book fantasy series like this one. I love the colors and the fire and the whole thing is just pretty.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo - The best thing about Leigh Bardugo's covers are the details and she did not disappoint with the cover of the first book in her new series, The Dregs. There's the wing that sort of, somehow, forms towers and it's mysterious yet also fantastical and it makes me wonder what the book is about. Which is kind of the point, right? The only downside is that the cover is black and grey and I feel like half the books in my shelf are black and grey. But a good book is a good book regardless of what the cover looks like and I will most definitely be reading this one come October.

Winter by Marissa Meyer - I guess I was lucky that I started reading the Lunar Chronicles late because I won't have to wait two years between Cress and Winter, but we finally got a cover for Winter which means the release date is in sight! I really like the cover! I love how the red of the apple really pops against the purple background. I was anticipating that the apple is what would be featured since it is the story of Snow White. Snow White doesn't really have an iconic clothing item or beauty feature like the other fairy tale characters in the story... well, I guess her rose red lips but they aren't nearly as iconic as the apple. Plus, the other covers have made  a point of not showing the character's face so why start now? I feel like there needs to be some sort of preparation that needs to happen before reading this 800 page mammoth of a book. 

And last, but most definitely not least, the most exciting book cover reveal of the year....(drum roll)...

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas - First of all, wow! Wow. Wow. Wow. Can I please have this book yesterday!?! This is hands down, no doubt about it, my most anticipated book of the year. If you haven't started the Throne of Glass series, what in the world are you waiting for!?!?! This series is amazing and epic and heart breaking and wonderful and kick ass and perfect and magical and beautiful and story telling greatness and... really, I could go on and on. But, to sum it up, I will say that Sarah J. Maas is genius and Celaena Sardothien is my everything. Back to the cover. Isn't it pretty! Everytime I look it I start feeling like Gollum

Is that weird? Yes? Well, I don't care. I am obsessed with this series and I have no shame whatsoever in admitting it. Anyway... back to the cover, again. Does anyone else feel like the cover and Celaena in general has a different vibe on QoS than on the other books. I think so. And I love it! I love that she's about to wield that sword and she has this super calm face while doing it. On all the covers she looks ready to jump into a fight any second but this one she's so calm! Not in a not ready kind of way but in a "I'm so ready I don't even need to get into fighting stance" kind of way. Does that make sense? And I love that the background kind of resembles clouds because it seems more calm than the other covers where there was energy or fire exuding from her. The whole cover sort of screams "the calm before the storm" which is so perfect because... well, if you're caught up you'll know why. 

Before I end this post I would like to declare Sarah J Maas the Queen of Beautiful Covers! This is an official title and cannot be disputed. That is that.

What did you think about these cover reveals? Which cover reveal is your favorite? What cover reveals are you looking forward to?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Reading Slump Woes, Apologies and Catch Ups

If you've ever suffered through a reading slump, you know how horrible it can be. As an avid reader, I've been through a few slumps myself. My most recent one spanned throughout the end of January and most of February and, to be honest, this was the worst one yet. I have never had such a long slump before. Generally, they last about a week or maybe two and then I'm back in the game but this time it was an entire month! I started so many books that eventually put down after just a few pages in because I just wasn't feeling it. I actually listened to my first audiobook ever because I picked up Eon which started out strong and then just sort of plateaued and I was being stubborn and I thought "there is no way I'm giving up on yet another book!" so I borrowed the audiobook from the library and listened to the second half (or maybe it was the last two thirds). I played it on double speed for most of it thought because it turns out that I didn't particularly like the book that much anyway.

I don't know why reading slumps happen. Maybe it's because you read too many bad or "meh" books in a row that you can't motivate yourself into picking up another one because you risk it being another "meh" book, which is never ever fun. Or maybe it's because you read a book that is so so so very good that you can't get yourself to read something else right away because you know it won't be able to compare. Maybe you need a little grace period to get over the amazing-ness of the previous book before you can start a new book.

Anyway, this is why my blog hasn't really been active in the last few weeks. I was having a major reading slump crisis. It was bad. It was real bad! At least, that's my official excuse for not having any new posts recently. Though, if you look at my Goodreads, you'll find that I did read a few books in the last couple weeks that I did apparently enjoy but never talked about on this blog... I don't have an excuse for that. My bad, I guess?

I'm going to play catch up to try and make up for my lackings. Here goes:

I Was Here by Gayle Forman
The entirety of my love for Gayle Forman is based on If I Stay and Where She Went. Those are two of my favorites and I will love them forever but I haven't been able to find the same level of emotion and connection in her other books. Just One Day is one of those books that I've picked up a couple times now and had to put down both times because I couldn't get into it. I was excited about I Was Here because I felt it had more potential to do what If I Stay and Where She Went were able to do but, sadly, this book didn't live up to those expectations. It was okay. It was a decent read but, I don't know, I guess I just wanted more out of it and I wasn't able to get that.

Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

First of all, Maggie Stiefvater is now officially one of my favorite authors. Her writing is just AMAZING! I am in love. About Sinner. Whenever an author releases a book in a series that wasn't originally part of the plan but decides to add it in years later after the series is complete, I approach the book with caution. I'd rather get a good story that is full and complete than a hasty one written to please the fans. I approached Sinner the same way and I am more than happy to tell you that my worry was completely unfounded. Cole and Isabelle were my favorite characters from the Wolves of Mercy Falls series and I am so happy that they got a book all to themselves and I'm happy that we got to see more of them and get to know what ultimately happens with their relationship. As a fan, I am 100% satisfied. 

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

I read this because of how much I'd heard others talking about it and because of the really high rating this book has gotten and the numerous awards and honors (there's give just listed on the cover of my copy) and the beautiful cover definitely helped and, mostly, because it has one of the greatest book titles ever! Right!?!? Despite so much hype, the book lived up to its expectations. I loved the story and I loved the writing and I loved the themes that were explored and they way they were explored. I did have a bone to pick with the very ending but the other 98% of the book was amazing! I love Dante! (Ari's cool too, but... Dante!) This is the kind of book that might end up as assigned reading in school but its one of the few, rare assigned reading that you actually enjoy. 

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

I'd been putting off this book for so long because it's a YA Contemporary Romance and I'd had a bit of an overdose of that genre (plus I was way more interested in reading YA Fantasy). For whatever reason I decided to read it, finally, and I liked it! When you pick up a contemporary romance novel, you know exactly how it's going to end before you even open the book. Actually, even before you read the blurb on he inside cover or on the back. You just know. But, for whatever reason, you read it anyway. This was just like that. You know the general structure of the book but you read it for the details and it's the details that make you love it or hate it (there is no in between in this genre). Well, I loved it. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a nice contemporary romance every now and then. After all, YA Contemporary was my first love.

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
Second books in series are make or break moments for me. If the second book isn't particularly good, I might give up on the series entirely. There is also a bit of a precedent for second books for me because both my favorites series had phenomenal second books that completely blew me away and claimed a spot on my favorites list (see: Days of Blood and Starlight and Crown of Midnight). While The Winner's Crime, didn't quite secure a spot on that list, it still very much lived up to (high) expectations. There were no disappointments. I'm pretty sure I liked this installment better that the previous one and I am so excited about The Winner's Kiss and so bummed that I have to wait another year. Seriously, there were so many feels in this book and if you're an Arin-Kestrel shipper, be warned that you are basically walking into a field scattered with land mines. Yup.