Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The TBR Tag

A few days ago I was tagged by Erin @ Jump Into Books to do a post all about my TBR pile. This tag was created by  Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books and Dana from Dana Square. It's a super fun way to get a peek at how we manage our TBR piles and what exactly is on them!

How do I keep track of my TBR pile?

I wish.
On a large scale: Goodreads. I add anything I even vaguely may be interested in reading to my 'Want to Read' shelf. I also keep track of what I am reading and participate in the GR challenge. 

However, for review books I use Google calender and add/schedule books as I receive them. 
 It also gives me a bit more self control in NOT requesting if I see that a week or month is already crammed full of titles. Sort of. Occasionally.

Is my TBR mostly print or ebook?

I think it's split just about in the middle. I definitely have overflowing book shelf issues at home and love having a physical book best, but I use Netgalley and Edelweiss for almost all of my review book requesting.

How do I determine which book from my TBR to read next?

Generally, I read from my review schedule. So it's pretty much in approximate order of release date. However, when I get a bit ahead of schedule, I'll often read something from waaaaay down the line that I just can't wait to get to. I also take review advice into consideration in deciding what not to read. Once 3 of my trusted reviewers give it a thumbs down it's pretty much doomed and eventually bumped off my TBR pile completely.

A book that's been on my TBR list the longest?


Three-way tie:
I have shame.....

A book that I recently added to my TBR pile?

Again, I couldn't choose just one!

A book on my TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover:


I love everything about this cover. I love the wintery scene on the tea cup. I love the birds. I WANT that ring. The title font is perfect. It doesn't even matter what this book is actually about. I will read it. 

A book on my TBR that I NEVER plan on actually reading:

I am truly, never, EVER going to read this book. I don't like Peter Pan. I don't care how good it is, or how pretty the cover is. Sure, it's on my TBR, but I'm never going to get to it.

An unpublished book on my TBR that I'm excited for:

I want this book so bad that I actually feel whiny about it. It's not faaaaairrrrr! *sob*

A book on my TBR that basically everyone has read except me:

 I swear I'm going to read it soon. I WANT to. I really, really do!

A book on my TBR that everyone recommends to me:

Pretty much EVERY JLA series qualifies for 'most recommended' and I'm all about it. I read and loved Don't Look Back a LOT and I can't wait to get to these! Though she writes so many books I fear I will never catch up!

A book on my TBR that I'm dying to read:

THIS is happening soon. I've been holding off so that I can do a reread of Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph, but I don't think that's realistic and I'm tired of waiting!

The number of books on my Goodreads TBR shelf?

1,417 and counting. ;)

I now tag:
Jen & April @ The Starry-Eyed Revue
Rachel @ Paper Cuts

I hope you have as much fun as I did!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Review: Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

Release Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 416
Source: eARC for Review
ISBN-10:  0316404519 
Rating: 5 Hearts

Book Description

"A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder--and the one boy who can help change her future.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she's to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.

Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane--a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.


Short and Sweet:

An incredible story to get swept up into, Salt & Storm will bewitch you and keep you breathless from beginning to end!

To Elaborate...

First of all, books about witches are among my favorites, but that doesn't mean I will automatically love every one. So I've been a little nervous about really diving into Salt & Storm. I was afraid that my expectations were too high. However, I really shouldn't have worried, because from the first chapter I became wrapped up in life on Prince Island. The mysteries of the Roe witches captivated me and Avery's situation tormented me. I wanted answers for her. I felt impatient, frustrated, powerless and desperate along side her.

Avery grew up with her Grandmother, the current Roe witch, in a small cabin a few miles outside of town. As a child, she helped with spells and fell in love with everything about being a witch. That is, until her mother took her away and set her up in her new husband's lavish home to live a quiet, 'normal' life. Cursed by her own mother and unable to return to take her place as the next witch, Avery spends her days interpreting dreams for sailors on the docks and unsuccessfully attempting to return to her Grandmother. She WANTS to become a witch, but every time she tries to flee a powerful curse causes her to pass out cold before she can make it more than a few steps. But when Avery dreams of her own murder (something only possible before she becomes the next Roe witch), it adds a foreboding sense of urgency to unlocking her powers.

When a mysterious boy with his own strange magic offers to help her break her mother's curse in exchange for her help deciphering his dreams, Avery is just desperate enough to try it. But everything she thinks she knows about Prince Island and those on it will be tested and when it all leads up to an impossible choice, Avery will surprise everyone, even herself.

Salt & Storm has more than its fair share of magic, a swoony romance and a heartbreaking ending. Kendall Kulper is absolutely on my auto-buy list and her lovely debut novel deserves to be on yours!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Bookish Talk: Reading Too Quickly


As long as I can remember, since I've been able to read, I've been a fast reader. When I was younger, I would become ecstatic if I finished a Junie B. Jones book in an afternoon. The older I've gotten, the faster I've read. On a day (usually in the summer when classes aren't going on) that I don't have to work and don't have much on the agenda, I can usually read about two average to longish length books (granted these days are rare, but they do happen sometimes). Recently, I read three books in one day (all were super short, like 200ish pages each). While I definitely use reading quickly to its advantage when it comes to being on a tight reading schedule (like when classes are going on), I've noticed more and more how many drawbacks I get after reading that much in one day that mainly comes in the form of too many damn feels.

 A good book for me is one that makes me feel all sorts of emotions, from anger when a conflict isn't working out, to sadness over the loss of something, to happiness over a swoony scene. That's a lot of emotions to go through in one day. When I read multiple books in a day, I seriously end up lying in bed at night overwhelmed with lots and lots of feels and not knowing what to do with them. I try to give myself some recuperating time to soak in a book after I read it by turning Netflix on. or walking around for a bit, but I'm always eager to jump into the next book. It's sort of like dating someone for a while, breaking up, grieving for an hour, and then going back into another intense relationship (and we all know that isn't good). You're left with a puddle of feels that just don't know where to go, because they haven't been fully embraced. It's like, why can't I be bookishly single for a while, ya know?

I've tried to slow down a bit when reading sometimes and take it in more (because even though I read quickly, I don't remember quickly and probably can't tell you what a book that I read two weeks ago is about without rereading the synopsis). The thing is, when I try that, the back of my mind starts slowly whispering to me about how many books I need to get through in my TBR pile and how much I'm delaying that process by slowing down (I got probs, I know). Or worse, I get impatient with my slow self and end up being frustrated. Hence, MORE FEELS.


I've heard plenty of people say they wish they could read quicker (and please do not take this post as me complaining about being able to read quickly, I'm just saying there are pros and cons to each), but I've never heard someone wish they could slow down silence the overwhelming feels.

Does anyone else have this problem? Or am I just a crazy, fast reader who needs to be quiet?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Review: Stray by Elissa Sussman

Release Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow
Pages: 384
Source:  eARC for review
ISBN-10: 0062274554
Rating: 2 Hearts

Book Description

"'I am grateful for my father, who keeps me good and sweet. I am grateful for my mother, who keeps her own heart guarded and safe. I am grateful for my adviser, who keeps me protected. I am grateful for the Path, which keeps me pure. Ever after.'

Princess Aislynn has long dreamed about attending her Introduction Ball, about dancing with the handsome suitors her adviser has chosen for her, about meeting her true love and starting her happily ever after.

When the night of the ball finally arrives and Nerine Academy is awash with roses and royalty, Aislynn wants nothing more than to dance the night away, dutifully following the Path that has been laid out for her. She does not intend to stray.

But try as she might, Aislynn has never quite managed to control the magic that burns within her-magic brought on by wicked, terrible desires that threaten the Path she has vowed to take.

After all, it is wrong to want what you do not need. Isn’t it?

STRAY is the first in a collection of intertwined stories, all set in a world where magic is a curse that only women bear and society is dictated by a strict doctrine called The Path. A cross between The Handmaid’s Tale and Wicked, with a dash of Grimm and Disney thrown in, this original fairy tale will be released October 7th, 2014 from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins.


Short and Sweet:

 While I really, really thought I was going to love this during the first half or so, I ultimately had way too many questions left unanswered/never discussed that I finished it kind of disappointed.

To Elaborate... 

Princess Aislynn has done her best to stay on her Path and not stray or give in to the magic that's so hard to control. After a particularly bad incident, she is forced to be Redirected and labeled a stray. Now, she must take up the role of fairy godmother and help out another princess. But no matter where she goes, her magic is still brimming and danger seems to follow her. 

During the first part of this book, I was SO loving it. Cool fairytale world with dresses and magic and godmothers and plots? Yes! I loved the idea of 'straying' and how the world was crafted around that. 

But soon after Aislynn got Redirected to be a fairy godmother, it started going quickly down hill for me. All the world building questions I had during the first part seemed like they were never going to be addressed (like what exactly is the curse Aislynn keeps mentioning? Why does she get welts and stuff? What exactly is the motivation behind the antagonist? Why was she freaked out when the thing with the red sheets happened? AND WHAT THE HECK IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS MIRROR?). 

All these questions and more starting piling up and by the end, not a single one was answered. Since this isn't so much a 'sequential' series, as a future collection of companions, I expected most of my questions would be answered. And most of my questions weren't even ones that you would expect answered in a second book. These answers were necessary to understand what was currently going on. I just felt like screaming, "TELL ME MORE" during the entire second half of the story.


This even drifted over into the romance. Thackery seems somewhat, vaguely swoony, but you know next to nothing about him. I think the story mentions that he has green eyes? This isn't completely a case of insta-love, but they somehow like each other while know nothing about each other. I'm not even sure when Thackery finds out she's a princess and not just a fairy godmother.  

Overall, this was a let down for me. I love the premise of it so, so, so much, and it kind of kills me when a story has that and then doesn't follow through in awesomeness. I might be willing to give the next companion a chance just in hopes that a better balance will happen, but it'll be a tough call.  

2 Hearts 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday Review: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

 Throwback Thursday is a weekly feature & linkup here at I Heart YA Fiction where we will be reviewing older releases and/or books that have been on our shelves for awhile. Feel free to participate by reading from the bottom of your shelf and adding links to your reviews of older titles! We would love to read your Throwback Reviews! 

This week's feature? 

A repost in honor of next week's release of The Perilous Sea!

Release Date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 480
Source: ARC from Publisher
ISBN-10: 0062207296  

Rating: 5 Hearts (Repost from 2013)

Book Description

"Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death. Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to avenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal. But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life."


Short and Sweet:

The Burning Sky is a gorgeous experience. It is an intricate, layered tale written by a skilled and talented story teller. It is a little bit of everything: flying carpets, winged horses, dragons, magic, castles, kingdoms, secrets, bravery, terror, love and longing. Truly captivating in every way.

To Elaborate...

In The Burning Sky, 'the greatest elemental mage of her generation' has been hidden in plain sight in a small town from the Bane, a corrupt elemental mage, who would use her to increase his own power. However, Iolanthe's life changes quite suddenly after she brings down a bolt of lightning that captures the attention of all of Atlantis. 

Prince Titus has known nearly all of his life that he is destined to die seeking vengeance on the Bane. One morning, while standing on his balcony, he witnesses the most powerful display of elemental magic that he has ever seen. He almost immediately recognizes the moment as a vision his mother had long ago that signals the catalyst for change in his life. Titus, who now knows that the journey to his death has begun, doesn't hesitate for a moment and rushes to beat the Inquisitor (a dreadful woman with mind bending abilities) to the source of the lightning bolt and discovers the dazed Iolanthe. A girl. 

Titus has spent his life preparing for this great elemental mage. He has prepared a place and an identity within a boys school to hide this mage from Atlantis, as well as from the reach of the Bane, but Iolanthe is not a boy. A simple, overlooked possibility which raises the stakes immeasurably. Iolanthe will have to be Archer Fairfax, a 16 year old boy. And she must be convincing.

Titus struggles against his single-minded goal of revenge (for which he needs Iolanthe's power to achieve) and his developing feelings for her. Iolanthe, intelligent and perceptive, sees his desire to use her as a weapon against the Bain, but also sees the sadness of a life lived in anticipation of prophesied death. As these two prepare to overthrow an elemental tyrant they encounter terrifyingly close calls and unimaginable adventures. 

The Burning Sky is magical and one of the most well written stories I've read in such a long time. Do not skip this one! 

Your post doesn't have to be on Thursday to participate! Just link up your own reviews of recently (or not so recently) read older books!

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