A Court of Thorns and Roses Paperback Release Day Giveaway

To celebrate the paperback release of A Court of Thorns and Roses, the always lovely Bloomsbury team is giving away some goodies and we are more than happy to help them do so as the SJMaas fans that we are. If you haven't started this new series yet, trust me, YOU WANT TO. It's magical, sexy, addicting, beautiful, fierce and so much more.  And who wouldn't want a book as gorgeous as this one on their shelves. So may the odds be ever in your favor! :)



A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers & Other Badass Girls by Jessica Spotswood et al.

Title: A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers & Other Badass Girls
Author: Jessica Spotswood et al.
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Source: ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review (thanks Candlewick Press!!)

Summary from Goodreads:
From an impressive sisterhood of YA writers comes an edge-of-your-seat anthology of historical fiction and fantasy featuring a diverse array of daring heroines.

Criss-cross America — on dogsleds and ships, stagecoaches and trains — from pirate ships off the coast of the Carolinas to the peace, love, and protests of 1960s Chicago. Join fifteen of today’s most talented writers of young adult literature on a thrill ride through history with American girls charting their own course. They are monsters and mediums, bodyguards and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos. They're making their own way in often-hostile lands, using every weapon in their arsenals, facing down murderers and marriage proposals. And they all have a story to tell.

With stories by:
J. Anderson Coats | Andrea Cremer | Y. S. Lee | Katherine Longshore | Marie Lu | Kekla Magoon | Marissa Meyer | Saundra Mitchell | Beth Revis | Caroline Richmond | Lindsay Smith | Jessica Spotswood | Robin Talley | Leslye Walton | Elizabeth Wein


Mother Carey's Table by J. Anderson Coats - 4.5 stars
This story was about a girl pirate who tried to prove herself to her crew but learned the hard way that you can't trust anyone. It was a great opening story and I really loved how everything came full circle despite the somber ending.

The Journey by Marie Lu - 4.5 stars
This story was inspired by the Inuit culture and the Alaskan wilderness and centered around a girl fleeing her broken village with her family's dog sled team. In just 20 some pages Lu made me feel love, loss, fear, strength, kindness, bravery, hope and so much more! Loved it!

Madaleine's Choice by Jessica Spotswood - 3.5 stars
This story was about a young woman torn between her heart and her duty who seeks the help of a Voodoo Queen to make the right choice. This one was fun to read because I just returned from a trip to New Orleans where I learned much about its history. I only wish that the ending had more closure.

El Destinos by Leslye Walton - 4 stars
This story was inspired by The Fates and was magical realism at it's finest. I loved peeling back the layers of this story and felt quite the rush of emotions upon finishing this one.

High Stakes by Andrea Cremer - 4.5 stars
This story was about Kilo, a long-thought-extinct creature among the paranormal circles who was also an assassin for hire. Someone tried to get the better of her but she was having none of that. And I absolutely LOVED this one. It was unique, interesting, action-packed, mysterious and so much more. Cremer nailed it.

The Red Raven Ball by Caroline Richmond - 2.5 stars
This story was focused on a young girl who was asked to uncover a Confederate Spy among the guests at her grandmother's ball. In all fairness, stories involving high society life are usually a hit or miss for me. This one was a little bland in comparison to those that came before it but the ending did surprise me.

Pearls by Beth Revis. - 3.5 stars
This story was about a girl who started a life of her own out West to escape marrying a monster. I wasn't sure where this one was going at first but I was easily sucked into the story regardless. And  here I am left craving more of both Helen and Annie's stories. This one ended too quickly.

Gold in the Roots of the Grass by Marissa Meyer - 4 stars
This story was about a girl who could communicate with ghosts and went out of her way to help one of them (and ended up helping so many others in the process). It was a ghost story, adventure, and romance (of sorts) all in one! I really liked it!

The Legendary Garrett Girls by Y. S Lee - 5 stars
This one was about two sisters that ran a Tavern who were being extorted and refused to go down without a fight! It has to be my favorite of the bunch. It was suspenseful, exciting and a little bit humorous.

The Color of the Sky by Elizabeth Wein - 3.5 stars
This story was about a young Black girl who worshiped Bessie Coleman but then was unfortunate enough to witness her death. It was about finding the courage to follow your dreams and not letting anyone else tell you what you can or cannot do. It was pretty consistent with the rest of Wein's work - important and impactful - and was a nice change of pace from the other stories.

Bonnie and Clyde by Saundra Mitchell - 4.5 stars
This story was about a girl Robin Hood trying to escape from her latest run in with the law. That would have been enough on its own but it was extra fun that the boy chasing her was her beau and he had no idea. This story was short and sweet and I enjoyed it immensely.

Hard Times by Katherine Longshore - 3.5 stars
This story was about two train-jumping nomadic kids who cross paths with a reporter in search of their story. It took place during the Great Depression and while it didn't blow me away, it was touching and had a great ending.

City of Angels by Lindsay Smith - 2 stars
This story was about a girl discovering her interest in girls, falling in love, and using that love to fuel her work as a writer. But the characters were pretty cookie cutter and there wasn't all that much to be moved/excited by. I was left feeling a little underwhelmed, especially after the less-than-happy ending.

Pulse of the Panthers by Kelka Magoon - 2 stars
This story was about a young girl farmer whose eyes are opened when her father hosts members of the Black Panther Party for a short period of time. I didn't get much out of this one though and the ending was inconclusive.

The Whole World is Watching by Robin Talley - 3 stars
This story was about a girl finding the courage to be open about liking girls in a world where that was mostly unaccepted. I wasn't impressed by the writing - it was a little hard to follow with it taking place in the middle of protest. But I thought the romance was sweet and the ending especially so.

Overall Impression

This was a pretty solid compilation of stories! While I didn't love all of them, I really enjoyed the majority of them (although the book definitely started stronger than it ended). If you are a fan of strong female characters and historical fiction then you simply have to read this anthology!


Stacking the Shelves (165) - Mar 12th

Stacking the Shazelves - hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews - features books that you bought, borrowed, rented from the library, received for review, etc.

What I'm Reading

What books are stacking your shelves? 


See How They Run by Ally Carter

Title: See How They Run
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: December 22nd 2015
Source: Review copy from publisher (Thank you Scholastic & Scholastic Audio)

Summary from Goodreads:
Inside every secret, there's a world of trouble. Get ready for the second book in this new series of global proportions--from master of intrigue, New York Times bestselling author Ally Carter.

Grace's past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn't stop it, Grace isn't the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

The twists get twistier and the turns get even more shocking in the second thrilling installment of Embassy Row.


See How They Run starts off in the same scene that ended book one. (Side note: I reread book one right before picking up See How They Run, I definitely recommend it!) Grace continues to be an unreliable narrator. At times her instability grates on me. While it drives me crazy at times it’s done with purpose, the elements of her life have and continue to make her slightly unstable and the authors does not shy away from that.

I listened to the audio book version of both books are really enjoyed them.. The voices were well done and brought the characters to life.  I also think it highlighted the nervousness, fear and other emotions that Grace was feeling.  As mentioned in the blurb, the stakes get higher and the twists get crazier.

See How They Run does not suffer from second book syndrome, if anything I enjoyed book two even more than book one.  The events were crazier, riskier, and more surprising, granted all events should be taken with a grain of salt.  The events are not the most believable but they are definitely fun and entertaining.    Even though Grace is not my favorite character she suits the story and the mystery; I also liked that she was not a traditional character and does not follow all the same predictable tropes. I look forward to continuing this fun series!


Catching Jordan (Hundred Oaks) by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Catching Jordan
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date:  December 1st 2011
Source: Gifted from my OTSP Secret Sister

Summary from Goodreads:

What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.

But everything she's ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he's also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan's feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart's on the line?


Catching Jordan surprised me within the first chapter. (Easy to happen when you don’t read the book blurb :) ). Jordan is a girl that plays football which I immediately thought was awesome. The stress of recruitment and playing well for college scouts brought me right back into high school stresses. Not to mention all the other relatable drama; from catty girl drama to new crushes and first relationships, it was so easy to fall right into the Hundred Oaks world.

The relationship building is one of my favorite aspects of the book. Not all of them are perfect but they are relatable and realistic. Jordan and her father struggle but her brothers full support her football choices. Jordan primarily only hangs out with team players but throughout the course of the book builds friendships with girls she previously never gave a chance to. The slow change felt honest and believable. I enjoyed the bond Jordan has with her teammates; gender was not really an issue and their friendships highlight the fact that all kinds of friendships exist.

Aside from Jordan’s secondary relationships, the primary romantic relationships were very well done. The romance was honest and slow building. Some of the choices Jordan is faced with are easy and hard at the same time. As dynamics change and events unfolded my level of anxiety was so high. I wanted things to happen but then didn’t, my feelings were all over the place but in such a good way. Kenneally was evoking emotional responses that I was not expecting.

I thought Catching Jordan would be a light contemporary read but it was much more. It was a story of growth, friendships, love, and following your dream. I can’t wait to read more from Miranda Kenneally.


Stacking The Shelves (164) - March 5th

Stacking the Shelves - hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews - features books that you bought, borrowed, rented from the library, received for review, etc.


Riders by Veronica Rossi

Title: Riders
Author: Veronica Rossi
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: February 16th 2016
Source: Review copy from publisher (Thank you Tor Teen!)

Summary from Goodreads:
Nothing but death can keep eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

While recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen—Conquest, Famine, and Death—are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now—bound, bloodied, and drugged—Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he’s fallen for—not to mention all of humankind—he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.

But will anyone believe him?


Veronica Rossi is one of my favorite authors so I was quite excited when I got my copy of Riders. Riders was not what I was expecting at all, it is a dark, action heavy book primarily narrator as a recollected story.   Riders drops the reader right into the story.  It took my a little bit to get used to the story telling and immerse myself into the story.

Since it is a different world where the characters are unsure of what is going on at first it took longer for me to get into the plot and understand the happenings at first.  It made the beginning part of the book a bit slow for me though it did pick up.  The action and fight scenes were dark and powerful.  I really enjoyed the introduction into the supernatural elements.

The powerful yet dangerous horsemen of the apocalypse are mysterious characters whose stories unfold throughout the course of the book. Although it was a tad slow at the beginning, I really enjoyed the good (ish) versus evil story line.  I look forward to learning more about each horsemen and continuing this high stakes series.


February Recap

Nicole Read

Ashley Read

  February Favorites

Nicole's Pick

Ashley's Pick

February Reviews

      What's New With Nicole

      Hmm, what did I do in February.... I went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras with a few friends which was complete mayhem. I participated in (and won) a Beer Olympics Tournament which, yes, I am quite proud of. I celebrated my friends Engagement, had a great meet up with Book Club to see Sarah J Maas and Susan Dennard, and played some recreational Bocce Ball and Indoor Kickball. I also completed the 8-week Tone It Up Challenge, got accepted into and started training for the Philly Broad Street 10-mile Race, and took my first Spin Class. And lastly, I squeeze in a day trip to Blue Mountain for some snowboarding. It's been a whirlwind of a month but a great one. The only thing I didn't do was read much lol.

      What's New With Ashley

      February was a great month.  I went with some friends to Iceland!  It was amazing, it is so naturally beautiful and our last night we got to see the Northern Lights, which are truly stunning.  We also climbed a glacier and saw tons of waterfalls.  I highly recommend taking the trip if you are thinking about it!  Aside from the trip I was pretty busy with work/school finishing up projects before our trip. I am looking forward to warmer weather and spring time! 


      Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

      Title: Stars Above
      Author:Marissa Meyer
      Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
      Release Date: February 2nd 2016

      Summary from Goodreads:
      The enchantment continues....

      The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

      With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.


      It’s no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of short stories. When I reread the series I will be adding the short stories into their (roughly) corresponding order. It was fantastic to be back in the Lunar world and get new glimpse of characters. The stories give a nice background into the individual stories.

      Carswell’s story was super cute and fun plus fit his character so well. Jacin and Winter’s story, ahhh one of my favorites. It actually made me love the couple even more!  They are adorable together and Jacin's care for Winter is just great. The Mechanic was my least favorite story but mainly because I felt like it did not provide a lot of new material.  

      Stars Above ends on a wonderful perfectly high note.  I loved the Something Old , Something New story.  It was the happily ever after that I was looking for.  If you are on the fence about reading the short stories, do it!  The last one is a wonderful epilogue to one amazing series! 
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