Waiting on Wednesday #25

It’s that time again, book lovers: welcome back to Waiting on Wednesday! WoW is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine. Here is what I’m looking forward to today:

A Poison Dark and Drowning by Jessica Cluess

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

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“Devastatingly magical and monstrously romantic. I can’t decide if this book stole my heart or ripped it out of my chest.” —Stephanie Garber, author of Caraval

The magicians want her to lead.
The sorcerers want her to lie.
The demons want her blood.
Henrietta wants to save the one she loves.
But will his dark magic be her undoing?

In this seductive and explosive second book in the Kingdom on Fire series, Jessica Cluess delivers her signature mix of magic, passion, and teen warriors fighting for survival. Hand to fans of Victoria Aveyard, Sarah J. Maas, and Kiersten White.

Henrietta doesn’t need a prophecy to know that she’s in danger. She came to London to be named the chosen one, the first female sorcerer in centuries, the one who would defeat the Ancients. Instead, she discovered a city ruled by secrets. And the biggest secret of all: Henrietta is not the chosen one.

Still, she must play the role in order to keep herself and Rook, her best friend and childhood love, safe. But can she truly save him? The poison in Rook’s system is transforming him into something monstrous as he begins to master dark powers of his own. So when Henrietta finds a clue to the Ancients past that could turn the tide of the war, she persuades Blackwood, the mysterious Earl of Sorrow-Fell, to travel up the coast to seek out strange new weapons. And Magnus, the brave, reckless flirt who wants to win back her favor, is assigned to their mission. Together, they will face monsters, meet powerful new allies, and uncover the most devastating weapon of all: the truth.

Release Date: September 19, 2017

Why I’m Waiting: I enjoyed reading the first book in this series, A Shadow Bright and Burning, last year and when this gorgeous cover caught my eye… well, what can I say. I’m a sucker for a pretty book cover. And I’m interested to see where the story goes after the events of book 1. But the title is VERY OMINOUS which makes be CONCERNED. But also excited.

What about you – what new books are you anticipating this Wednesday?

Waiting on Wednesday #24

Welcome back to Waiting on Wednesday! WoW is a weekly meme originating on Breaking the Spine. Here’s what I’m looking forward to this week:

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

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Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, the first book in this new duology features a compelling gender fluid main character, impressive worldbuilding, and fast-paced action.

Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class―and the nobles who destroyed their home.

When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand―the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears―Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.

But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.

Release date: September 5, 2017

Why I’m waiting: I’m really excited about this one, you guys. Not only does it have a plot of courtly intrigue (which I’m such a sucker for!) I’m also really interested to read about a genderfluid protagonist, as I’ve not encountered many in fiction before and I’m actively trying to diversity my reading habits. The synopsis also gives me a bit of a Throne of Glass vibe (but different!) so I’m definitely interested to see where this goes.

Over to you, book lovers: what are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Reading Goals for 2017

Because it’s good to have goals, or so they tell me. These are the reading goals I’ve set for myself this year:

  1. Read at least 50 books. This should be doable. My goal last year was 45 and I ended up doing 56. But that was counting comic book volumes, so maybe we won’t count those this time.
  2. Continue reading more diverse books. Specifically more books with POC and LGBT protagonists. I started doing this last year and it made for a richer overall reading experience. I’m biracial myself so I’m always on the lookout for stories about people like me.
  3. Read more contemporary books. I’ve kind of been ignoring contemporary as a genre until I came across some contemporary books that I loved in the final months of 2017. Maybe I haven’t been giving this genre a fair shake.
  4. Continue prioritizing books by female authors. Because women’s stories are important.
  5. Be pickier about my reading choices. It’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of hype and reviews but sometimes you have to trust your instincts.
  6. Be more vigilant about problematic aspects. Such as cultural appropriation, sexism, etc. It’s 2017. Time to aim a little higher.
  7. Try to actually keep up with the blog this time! We’ll see how that goes.

What about you, friends: have you set any reading goals or challenges for yourself this year? Tell me all about it! I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

 

Top YA Reads of 2016

I read a LOT of books this year, you guys. Here’s just a few of the best:

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Top 10 2016 YA Releases Read in 2016:

  1. The Raven King – Maggie Stiefvater
  2. Truthwitch – Susan Dennard
  3. The Star-Touched Queen – Roshani Chokshi
  4. Exit, Pursued by a Bear – E.K. Johnston
  5. As I Descended – Robin Talley
  6. Labyrinth Lost – Zoraida Cordova
  7. Empire of Storms – Sarah J. Maas
  8. Star Wars: Ahsoka – E.K. Johnston
  9. The Reader – Traci Chee
  10. Tell Me Three Things – Julie Buxbaum

Honourable mentions: If I Was Your Girl, All the Feels, Three Dark Crowns, My Lady Jane, Scarlet Epstein Hates It Here, The Abyss Surrounds Us, Wink Poppy Midnight.

 

Top 10 Non-2016 Releases Read in 2016:

  1. A Thousand Nights – E.K. Johnston
  2. Manners and Mutiny – Gail Carriger
  3. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
  4. Queen of Shadows – Sarah J. Maas
  5. Winter – Marissa Meyer
  6. The Chess Queen Enigma – Colleen Gleason
  7. Rivals in the City – Y.S. Lee
  8. Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
  9. The Story of Owen – E.K. Johnston
  10. The Wicked Will Rise – Danielle Paige

Honourable mentions: Hollow City, Ravencliffe, Hawthorn, The Orphan Queen.

What were your favourite books of 2016?

Bet you thought you’d seen the last of me

Hello book lovers!

I know it’s been 84 years since I last posted anything (I know I’m a disgrace) but that’s all about to change. After a 2 year reading slump, I’ve gotten back into reading this year in a big way and I want to start blogging about books again too. I set a goal to read 45 books this year and I surpassed that goal by reading 55. I’m finally back in the game again! I’ve also been writing a lot. So stick around – I’m drafting up some Top 10 lists of the best books I read this year and what I’m anticipating for next year!

– Bex

Jumping on the Bandwagon

Well.

Last night I finished watching the first season of Downton Abbey.

I’m now faced with a difficult decision: do I stop off after work to buy season two or wait until I go to the mall on the weekend to pick it up? I probably won’t have time to watch any tonight but if I don’t end up making it to the mall, I’m gonna need to have it for this weekend.

So many questions…

I’ve also come to the conclusion that adding Florence + the Machine to any soundtrack makes it 100 times more epic than it would be without it. Dear Florence Welch, why are you so amazing? How do you do it? What is your secret?!

I also finished reading another Agatha Christie novel last night: The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side. I didn’t guess the murderer this time, but I did make a couple of other deductions early on that it took the cops in the novel a long time to make. Like who the intended victim was: everyone assumed the killer was trying to do away with the famous actress and accidentally killed the other woman instead, but I suspected the other woman was actually the target and I was right. I kind of want to be Miss Marple when I grow up.

And then I bought some new books:

Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Serious question now: if you’re one of those people who has to alphabetize all your books (like me), where do you put a book that’s got two authors? Under the first author’s name?

Is it slighly OCD of me that I can’t stand it if my books, CDs and DVDs aren’t all alphabetized? These are definitely first world problems.