Top Ten…New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014

You guys…only SIXTEEN days until Christmas and only ONE WEEK until Hanukkah! After that it’s like a minute until New Year’s Eve. Where has the time gone? I’m hoping that you’re all enjoying your holiday season and that where ever you may be, that you’re staying safe, happy and warm! My husband and I are currently preparing for a big storm to hit our area which always seems to happen this time of year! When the weather gets like this, all I want to do is get my wood stove roaring and curl up with a good book by an amazing author, like the ones in my top ten list today.

Source: The Broke and The Bookish

Source: The Broke and The Bookish

As some of you may know, I’m new to Young Adult books as of this year, so pretty much every author is a new author to me. I’ve read so many fantastic books in 2014 by so many fantastic authors, so it was pretty difficult for me to narrow it down to just ten! I buckled down though and managed to come up with a list of ten ridiculously talented women who are also suppppper kind to their readers! Needless to say, they’re all the perfect package…beauty, brains and sass for days!

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

Sarah J. MaasAC GaughenEmery LordHeather DemetriosLeigh Bardugo
Cora CarmackHuntley Fitzpatrick / Stephanie PerkinsLaini TaylorRae Carson

Pretty epic list of female authors right? This is just a small list of authors I fell in love with this year. If given free rein I could have easily come up with ten more! Did I list one of your faves?

Waiting on….A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I mean…really? Did you expect something other than this for my WoW pick this week? Last Friday, we were blessed with the cover reveal for A Court of Thorns and Roses (affectionately known as ACOTAR going forward), and I swear I heard the simultaneous flailing as my Twitter feed exploded! I personally feel like I took a more subdued approach…

giphy

Who am I kidding? I was more like…

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and then I was like…

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I’m sure I’ve made it quite evident that I am a Sarah J. Maas fangirl and it thrills me to no end that I get not only one, but TWO books from her in 2015! I mean…how am I supposed to contain myself when I get ACOTAR, the first book in a BRAND NEW series, annnnnd the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series. Until then I’ll spend my time trying to figure out how I can be blessed with review copies of each so I can achieve my goal of recruiting even more Maas fangirls to the growing legion!

TMYK

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Publication: May 5, 2015 by Bloomsbury
Pre-order this book

When 19-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 over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it … or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

Fangirl Friday: Bookish Events

This week I wanted to gush and flail about all the amazing book signings and events that take place in the YA community. But before I get to all of that, I wanted to share with you my experience from last Friday…my very first book signing!

I was lucky enough to attend a signing at Wellesley Books that featured Sarah J. Maas and A.C. Gaughen. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that because this was my first EVER bookish event, I was in complete fangirl mode and didn’t even think to take any photos until I got home! So, as much as I would love to share pictures with all of you from my exciting evening becoming BFF’s with Sarah and A.C., I can’t! Because I failed…miserably! Here are some pretty photos of the books I had signed while at the event though!

Before the signing Sarah and A.C. did a fun Q&A round with the fabulous Andi from Andi’s ABCs as the moderator. The panel was hilarious and filled with talk of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Disney Princes and travel to Scotland, and the two ladies cracked jokes the entire time. Seriously, these two were a comedy duo and they had the entire audience cracking up. Andi did an awesome job as moderator and asked some really great questions as well. So proud of her!

After the panel, we lined up for the book signing and I got a chance to visit with Andi, Gail and Dani while in line.  It was one of my favorite parts of the event because I was FINALLY able to meet bloggers that I had become friends with on Twitter over the past few months. I only started blogging this past May but in those short four months I have made some great friends and it’s so nice to actually meet them in person. My hope is that I get to meet so many more in the near future.

When we finally got to the front of the line I was in utter disbelief over how sweet and kind Sarah and A.C. were! Here are these SUPER successful female authors that are giving me hugs and thanking ME for my support. I mean, all I wanted to do was thank THEM for writing such amazing books and being such an inspiration. See, I’m getting all fangirly about it now just thinking about how wonderful they were. After the leaving the event I couldn’t help but wish I could have hung out with them more. So Sarah and A.C., I’m throwing out an open invitation for dinner and drinks sometime! Let’s make this happen!

Needless to say, I had an amazing night and was completely enthralled with the world of YA book events. Now I want to go to ALL of the events and meet ALL of my favorite authors and bloggers!

I already have two events that I’m planning to go to, two I’m HOPING to go to and one I would LOVE to go to but there’s virtually no way it will happen! Check them out…

Definitely going…

Boston Teen Author Festival on September 27th: looking forward to seeing A.C. Gaughen at this one again, as well as Kendall Kulper, Huntley Fitzpatrick, Claire Legrand and Alexandra Bracken!

Leigh Bardugo at Cambridge Public Library on November 3rd: I am BEYOND excited for this event. The Grisha Trilogy is one of my absolute faves, so to get the opportunity to see Leigh Bardugo in person and have her sign my books will be such a treat for me! Plus…I’m hoping it will be another opportunity for me hang with my girl, A.C. Gaughen. I mean, I don’t know if she knows this yet but we are totally BFFs now!

HOPING to attend…

ApollyCon in Philadelphia on February 28: There are SOOOOO many reasons why I want to go to this event. First of all, have you SEEN the author list? Sooo many of my faves in there, plus it’s an opportunity for me to see Sarah J. Maas and her bestie, Susan Dennard in action. I have heard great things about this dynamic duo and I am dying to experience it in person. Plus, I’m kind of hoping that I can become the missing piece to their perfect little BFF puzzle. Hey – a girl can dream can’t she? Besides all the author goodness, there are a TON of bloggers attending that I would love to FINALLY meet as well! Jamie, Lindsey, Betty. Katie, Rachel, Alexa AND Gaby are all planning on attending, and I would love to be able to join in the fun! Anyone else out there planning on going? I just have to figure out logistics of travel to and from Philly, and then where I’m staying so I can see if it works into the budget. But I am going to try my best to make it happen!

BEA 2015 in New York City: BookExpo America is THE trade event for book sellers, librarians, educators, press and bloggers alike! I made it a personal goal when I started blogging that I would attend the 2015 expo in NYC! It’s such a great opportunity to meet authors, publicists and bloggers, and who doesn’t want to hang in NYC with fabulous people for a few days! Check out Jamie’s BEA Diaries 2014 post or Hannah’s BEA Adventures for great re-caps of this year’s expo!

0.00004% chance of going…

Out of all the events I have listed, Yallfest is the one I would most LOVE to go to! Unfortunately, I just don’t have very many vacation days left for the year and I would definitely need to use at least one for this event. Plus it would be pretty expensive to fly down and stay in a hotel for just a quick weekend trip. Hoping one of you will be able to attend and then I can live vicariously through you! SO MANY of my favorite authors will be there; Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo, Gayle Forman, Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell and Laini Taylor. I can’t even talk about it anymore, it makes me SO sad I won’t be able to go!

Let me know if you’re planning on attending any of the events I’ve mentioned here, and I’d also love to hear all about author events or book festivals you have been to in the past. What is your favorite part about attending? Do you have an author you’ve met in person that you absolutely adore?

Happy Heir of Fire Release Day!!!

It’s here…September 2nd has finally arrived and it’s officially HEIR OF FIRE RELEASE DAY! It’s been 371 days since Crown of Midnight was released! That’s 534,240 minutes you guys! Seriously! That’s 32,054,400 seconds! Regardless of how you’ve been counting the time since the last book in the Throne of Glass series was released, if you’re anything like me its felt like FOREVER! Trust me when I say this guys…YOU WANT THIS BOOK! I finished it last week and I can confirm it is THE.BEST! Plus, the cover is just as amazing as the rest of the series and all four of these beauties are going to look seriously gorgeous all together on my bookshelf!

cover image source: goodreads

cover image source: goodreads

Today is the day, the day in which we can all rejoice and thank the heavens above that Heir of Fire is now out in the world! If you haven’t already, be sure to go out and grab your copy today! Also be sure to check out the non-spoiler review I posted yesterday if you want to get even more amped up for today!

I’m on vacation right now, so it’ll be pretty quiet around these parts for the rest of the week! But I’ll be back and better than ever the week of September 8th with a re-cap of the Sarah J. Maas book signing I’m attending at Wellesley Books on Friday night! In the meantime stay tuned to my Instagram for Disney World and Sarah J. Maas photos! Not sure which is more amazing!

Book Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Publication Date: 9/2/14 by Bloomsbury
Pages: 565 | Format: Paperback ARC
Purchase this book

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?

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Many thanks to Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner for allowing me to borrow her Heir of Fire ARC! Her fabulous generosity in no way affected my review.

I suppose I’ll start this review off by saying what a lot of bloggers have said when sharing their thoughts on Sarah J. Maas’ third book in the Throne of Glass series. WHERE do I begin? No really…where? This book clocks in at nearly 600 pages and I’m here to say that each and every one of the pages, each paragraph, each sentence, each word…is perfection.

The opening pages of Heir of Fire pick up right where Crown of Midnight left off and we don’t miss a beat. Celaena is off to Wendlyn under Chaol’s suggestion as a way to find the answers she is looking for. What we don’t know is just how epic of a journey and transformation that is about to take place in all of our beloved characters lives. To me, this whole story was about transformation and about choices. Each character we are introduced to undergo some sort of transformation, and has made choices that lead to consequences they may or may not be ready to face. It was fascinating to see the arc of each character develop so magically from beginning to end.

click for source

click for source

Celaena’s whole life has been consumed with the burning desire to enact revenge, to make those responsible for her pain and the pain of those she loves suffer at her hand. She doesn’t care about anything else and is haunted by the endless betrayal and loss she has experienced her whole life. She refers to her rage as a “monster under her skin” and this is such a perfect analogy. It lives in her and she always knows it’s there. Sarah J. Maas does an unbelievable job in getting us to the dark heart of Celaena, in learning what motivates her. We get so much more back story to Celaena’s childhood and begin to understand what exactly it was that happened to her so long ago.

As part of her journey, Celaena is introduced to Rowan, a fae who allows her to look deep inside of herself  and helps her to realize what she must to in order to fulfill her destiny. Their relationship was my very favorite aspect of this book – it’s multi layered, unexpected and transformative. Rowan allows her to explore the intricacies of her heart and her pain, as a way tap into her true power that allows her to heal and move forward. I’m not going to give any details as to the nature of his relationship with Celaena, but I will say that his friendship is what truly carried her to the edge of darkness and then through it. Their relationship transcends definition and it was such a cornerstone of this book for me.

click for source

click for source

Which brings me to my next point, Sarah J. Maas really knows how to write powerful friendships. Much of this book focuses on the strength one can draw from a person who believes in them and offers their unwavering support. They’ve all been through so much in their own way and need at least one person they can look to in times of need. You can tell that Maas has some amazing friendships to draw experience and inspiration from.

Another new character we meet is the hardcore witch Manon Blackbeak, heir to the Blackbeak witch clan. Maas introduces us to a whole new wicked race in the realm of this story and I must say I am totally intrigued! You can tell that most of the narrative surrounding this character is a whole lot of world building and setting the stage for something amazing. I just know it. Manon is amazingly evil, but something tells me behind those iron teeth and steely glare is some sort of humanity. I cannot wait to see how her story develops in future books.

click for source

click for source

This review is already THE.LONGEST and I haven’t even talked about Dorian and the gang back at Rifthold. In this book, Dorian is figuring out what his power means and also starts to understand his father’s rule for what it truly is. A power-hungry and blood thirsty campaign to rule all of Erilea. We also learn that Chaol is left questioning everything he thought to be true, and seems so much more weary and guarded which totally broke my heart. For as much as Dorian was discovering who he truly is, Chaol was left trying to figure out what he ever was and will be. Don’t even get me started on Aedion! Another new character who ended up being one of my favorites! He is SO much more than I first assumed and I was so invested in how his past shaped him and what his motivations are. His focus on righting the past wrongs, as well as the ruthless and cunning way in which he must do so is captivating.

Seriously, HUGE kudos to Maas for writing some of the most complex, fully-formed characters  and locations I have read in a while. There are so many layers to this story and the way in which they all come together is something to be admired. The images I used in this review actually come from Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass Pinterest board in which she shares images that act as inspiration for each book. The images I selected were marked as “Book 3” and I can see so much of the story I read in them.

click for source

click for source

So…more than a thousand words later and all I have left to say is that this book was everything I was hoping it would be and more. Epic is the best word I can use to describe it, but others that come to mind are captivating, heart-wrenching, exhilarating and mesmerizing! There was so much plot and character development in this book and I cannot wait to see what the next installment in this legendary series brings us. By the end of Heir of Fire each character is presented with or forced into a fate we never could have seen coming. You should definitely have some tissues handy because the last 100 pages are intense and heart-breaking! In the best possible way of course! Many thanks to Sarah J. Maas for doing it again, Heir of Fire is most certainly one of my new favorite books ever.

***

If my review has you itching for more Heir of Fire goodness, please be sure to check out the Maas Thirteen and their Thirteen Days of Ash and Fire. It’s an epic Heir of Fire blog tour hosted by Alexa from Alexa Loves Books, Rachel from Hello Chelly, Judith from Paper Riot, Katie from The Polished Page-Turners and Jaz from Fiction In Fiction In Fiction. These amazing ladies will have fantastic posts celebrating the release of Heir of Fire, as well as a pretty spectacular giveaway! To keep up with posts use hashtags #HOF13Tour and #MaasThirteen on Twitter.

Tour Schedule

August 25 – Jaz @ Fiction in Fiction in Fiction
August 26 – Katie @ Polished Page-Turners
August 27 – Kelly @ Belle of the Literati
August 28 – Elena @ Novel Sounds
August 29 – Nicole @ The Quiet Concert
September 1 – Gillian @ Writer of Wrongs
September 2 – Judith @ Paperiot
September 3 – Melanie @ The Daily Prophecy
September 4 – Magan @ Rather Be Reading
September 5 – Andi @ Andi’s ABCs
September 8 – Gina @ Behind the Pages
September 9 – Rachel @ Hello Chelly
September 10 – Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books

Fangirl Friday: 2015 Releases

Happy August everybody, hope you’re all having a great Friday. Now that we’re officially in the second half of 2014 (ugh) I find myself starting to think about all the amazing 2015 releases we have coming our way. I’ve highlighted just a handful of the books we have to look forward to but I know there are so many more out there that I don’t even know about yet!

PicMonkey Collage

cover images courtesy of goodreads

First Row

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: The cover alone makes me giddy with joy, but you throw in the prospect of royalty, supernatural abilities and a fantasy setting, and I am soooo there!

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler: This book was just announced the other day and it’s already blowing up my Goodreads feed! It’s a contemporary re-telling of The Little Mermaid featuring a female MC that is a minority! Oh heck yeah! #WeNeedDiverseBooks

Fairest by Marissa Meyer: I’ve always found Queen Levana from The Lunar Chronicles super intriguing, so I’m really looking forward to a story told from her perspective. Let’s face it, bitch is hard-core eeeeevil, but maybe we’ll get a little insight as to why!

Second Row

I Was Here by Gayle Forman: What is about Gayle Forman that makes me want to burst into tears? Her books just make me feel all of the feels. This 2015 release promises to touch on some pretty intense subject matters but I have no doubt Gayle will write them beautifully and honestly, and in a way that will touch us all.

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord: Ohhhh Emery, the things you do to me. Open Road Summer was everything I wanted it to be and more, so you can imagine how FREAKING excited I am for this release. How gorgeous are Emery’s covers by the way?

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby: I don’t know a ton about this novel and I’m not really not a huge fan of mysteries. But something about the summary intrigued me and I totally want to read it now. Not gonn lie though, the bee kinda freaks me out.

Third Row

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows: Another book I don’t know too much about but the summary once again drew me in. I love a good fantasy novel and this one hits all the right marks; a princess/spy living in a magic-filled world. SOLD!

Winter by Marissa Meyer: Another Lunar Chronicles novel makes the list…but this one comes wayyy late in the year so we still have a pretty long wait. This installment features Winter and if her appearances in the previous novels are any indication it should be a pretty interesting read!

I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios: After her debut novel Something Real, I’ll forever be a uber-fan of Heather! I’m super excited to be a part of her Blogger Caravan for Exquisite Captive and so thrilled we’ll get ANOTHER new release from her next year! Three releases in one year…thankyouverymuch!

I’m not done yet…

Pretty epic list so far right? BUT…those only include the books that have cover designs. I’ll continue my list of some releases that don’t yet have covers but that still cause me to flail in excitement when I think about them.

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller: Where the Stars Still Shine was one of my very first YA novels and it will always hold a special place in my heart for sparking my love of YA Lit! So you know I’m sooo ready for another masterpiece from Trish.

The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick: I adored My Life Next Door and always knew there was story hiding inside Tim waiting to come out. Hoping that Samantha and Jase make a cameo here and there.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: Let’s face it…I will read literally ANYTHING Sarah writes. But a Beauty and the Beast re-telling involving a young, handsome Faerie Lord and my excitement levels are taken to a whole new stratosphere. Apparently there is another Throne of Glass installment coming in 2015 but I can’t find much information on it. Come on though, you know it’s going to be epic!

Is it 2015 yet? What releases from next year are you most excited for? I’d love to hear so I can fangirl with the rest of you.

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Own The Most Books From

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click for source

Welcome to another installment of Top Ten Tuesday hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic is the ten authors I own the most books from, but I’m new to book blogging and still building up my library. Soooo…this post will be short and sweet since I only have four authors dominating my shelves. All four authors have written series that I absolutely adore and they all live on my “favorites” book shelf.

personal photo

personal photo

I’m loving the fact that each series is about a powerful woman asserting her strength and wisdom in a unique and inspiring way. Also, something tells me I enjoy me a good fantasy novel! If you haven’t already, you definitely need to check these series out!

Robin LaFeversHis Fair Assassin series
*editors note: Gail from Ticket to Anywhere kindly loaned me her Mortal Heart ARC but I fully intend on purchasing my own copy to finalize my collection.

Sarah J. MaasThrone of Glass series

Laini TaylorDaughter of Smoke and Bone series

Rae CarsonFire and Thorns series

Are any of these authors on your shelves? Do you have a fave pictured here? Or, give me a suggestion of a novel or series I would enjoy based on the selections above. Have a great Tuesday!