The Crown’s Game

“Imagine, and it shall be. There are no limits.⁠⁠⁠⁠”

Title: The Crown’s Game

Author: Evelyn Skye

Series: The Crown’s Game # 1

Publication: May 17th 2016 by Balzer + Bray

Pages: 400

Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads:

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love… or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear… the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.


My Thoughts:

Hmm….. well, I really don’t know what to think. I’m torn. I liked it, I really did – but it sort of fell flat in a lot of different areas. I heard so many amazing things about The Crown’s Game and while it did live up to some of them, in other areas it left me decidedly wanting.

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Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted each week by Breaking the Spine and lets us spotlight a book that we are eagerly waiting to be released.

This week’s Waiting On Wednesday is Vicarious by Paula Stokes!

Publication: August 16th 2016 by Tor

Summary from Goodreads: 

Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, have always been inseparable. Together, the two of them survived growing up in a Korean orphanage and being trafficked into the United States.

Now they work as digital stunt girls for Rose’s ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs. Whether it’s bungee jumping, shark diving, or grinding up against celebrities at the city’s hottest dance clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you, for a price.

When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the neural recordings her sister made, Winter isn’t sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she’ll have to untangle what’s real from what only seems real, risking her life in the process.



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Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB at Books and A Beat

This week’s Teaser Tuesday is for Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh!

“It’s odd, I think, how the thing you love most in a person can also be the thing you sometimes wish you could change”

“Some people can see things with their hearts. Others need to see them with their eyes.”

“There is strong danger in a person who can create such powerful deceit they can no longer distinguish their own lies from the truth.”


Summary from Goodreads:

A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.

Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.

As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along.


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The Graces

“We love just one, but we love them all as well,” he said. “The Graces. We want to be them, and love them, and for them to love us. It’s a curse. Don’t you see? The Grace’s curse.”

Title: The Graces

Author: Laure Eve

Series: The Graces # 1

Publication:  September 6th 2016 by Amulet Books

Pages:352

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

In The Graces, the first rule of witchcraft states that if you want something badly enough, you can get it . . . no matter who has to pay.
 
Everyone loves the Graces. Fenrin, Thalia, and Summer Grace are captivating, wealthy, and glamorous. They’ve managed to cast a spell over not just their high school but also their entire town—and they’re rumored to have powerful connections all over the world. If you’re not in love with one of them, you want to be them. Especially River: the loner, new girl at school. She’s different from her peers, who both revere and fear the Grace family. She wants to be a Grace more than anything. And what the Graces don’t know is that River’s presence in town is no accident.
 
This fabulously addictive fantasy combines sophisticated and haunting prose with a gut-punching twist that readers will be dying to discuss. Perfect for fans of We Were Liars as well as nostalgic classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the 1996 movie The Craft, The Graces marks the beginning of a new wave of teen witches.


My Thoughts:

The Graces is one of those books that is trying really, really hard to be the next Twilight. Small town. Weird, strangely beautiful family that everyone gossips about and loves at the same time. Ridiculously, fake, and supposed to be good smelling love interest. NO HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS. I mean, who are we fooling here? Certainly not me. Certainly not any one who has ever read or watched the Twilight films. You might was well have renamed the book Twilight: but with witches that smell like vanilla rather than sparkle.

And yes, this review is ridiculously short. That is because I cannot bring myself to say anything without completely flipping a biscuit.

 

Wanderlost

“You can’t miss what you don’t know. Except, what if we were wrong?… Maybe there are other kinds of people inside us and we just need the right circumstances to draw them out?”

Title: Wanderlost

Author: Jen Malone

Series: Standalone

Publication: May 31st 2016 by HarperTeen

Pages:  352

Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads:

Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe.

Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.


My Thoughts:

OH MY GOODNESS THAT WAS SO FREAKEN ADORABLE! Wanderlost was fun, sweet, quirky, swoonworthy, and everything in between. It’s the sort of contemporary that tugs at your heartstrings in the best way possible. It makes you laugh, cry a little bit, and smile. It will make you want to pack your bags and hightail it to Europe on the next possible flight. Wanderlost is exactly what the synopsis promised, a whirlwind trip through Europe that will steal your heart.

To be perfectly honest, I had a bit of a hard time getting into this book at the start. The beginning requires some suspension of disbelief. I mean, what happened with Aubree’s sister Elizabeth is so out of the blue and ridiculous, I couldn’t wrap my head around it. But, once you get past that the story and the cast of wild and amazing characters sweeps you away into road trip wonderland. As someone who has always wanted to do exactly what these characters were doing, I couldn’t devour it fast enough. Add in a cute guy to the equation, plus a side of cute-as-hell romance, and you’ve got yourself a winner of a contemporary.

Now, Aubree. I have a love hate relationship with this chick. I admire her guts. I admire her for her willingness to protect her sister. I admire her for trying and for not giving up – but she did annoy the hell out of me at the beginning. She really needed to pull her head out of her ass, and thank heavens she finally did and it turned the whole book around. I started rooting for her. I started wanting to see more of her being herself, not the fake Elizabeth. I think I fell in love with her as a narrator on the Sound of Music tour – I mean, how could I not when she completely geeked out like that? It was awesome. As I said, I really do admire Aubree for trying. She was literally up shit creek without a paddle, but she kept going. She tried her damnedest to do her best and she gets major brownie points for that.

Sam. Holy mother of sin, I love Sam. (and yes, the name is awesome). He was perfection. He was adorable, quirky, hilarious, and on top of things. He made this book for me. Not the romance between him and Aubree, though that was pretty darn cute, but Sam as a character. He sort of just lights up the entire scenario. He put a smile on my face every time he was on the page. Come on, he called Rolfe an asswaffle and I just about died.

If you’re a fan of swoonworthy boys in fantastical European settings, Wanderlost is definitely the book for you. Wanderlost was fun, original, delightful, and utterly captivating. It will sweep you off of your feet and take you on a wild ride.With unexpected humor, a lovable gang of older ladies and gentlemen, and hidden water fountain shenanigans, Wanderlost is the perfect heartwarming contemporary to get you out of any book funk.


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If you liked Wanderlost, try:

 

You Before Anyone Else

The number of stairs between her floor and mine: 82
The number of jobs I’ve done without her: 9
The number of times I’ve “bumped” into her: 7
The number of times that was accidental: 1

Title: You Before Anyone Else

Author: Julie Cross & Mark Perini

Series: Standalone

Publication: August 2nd 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire

Pages: 400

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

Model Finley needs someone to help her shed her “good girl” persona, so she’ll try Eddie on for size.

New York City model Finley is fed up with hearing the same feedback at castings: she needs to take some serious action to wipe the “good girl” stamp from her resume if she wants to launch to stardom.

Enter Eddie Wells. He’s shallow, predictable…and just as lost as Finley feels. Deep down, Finley is drawn to Eddie’s bravado, his intensity. Except Eddie is hiding something. A big something. And when it surfaces, both loving and leaving Finley will become so much harder.

Why I Did Not Like It:

  • Cringe worthy characters that made me want to pull my hair out at the roots
  • Ridiculous story line that also put my hair (and my sanity) at risk
  • The whole plot is based on trying to be something you’re not because you think it’s better than who you actually are – and it never really changed (and I’m not okay with that). Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.

  • No chemistry. It was worse than watching the Twilight movies.
  • A plot twist out of freaken nowhere that just threw a wrench in things for no reason other than to make things difficult. Which sucked. And wasn’t okay.

  • Stalkerish tendencies on Eddie’s part. Just, no dude.

The one thing that I actually liked was the cover. Anything beyond that? Nope. Absolutely not.

 

The Raven King

“It was just that there was something newly powerful about this assembled family in the car. They were all growing up and into each other like trees striving together for the sun.”

Title: The Raven King

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Series: The Raven Cycle # 4

Publication: April 26th 2016 by Scholastic Press

Pages: 439

Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads:

Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.

For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey… and is certain she is destined to kill him.

Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

My Thoughts:

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