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Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer Blog Tour | Mood Board + GIVEAWAY!

Hey, y’all, it’s Lila and today I’m bringing y’all something special! A mood board for Lexa Hillyer’s new book, Spindle Fire (in stores now!), and a GIVEAWAY (US ONLY–sorry international peeps)! Lexa’s newest book is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, which I think is really nice because we haven’t seen many retellings of that tale. The book has magic and fae and sisterly love–so, ya know, basically everything you need for a good story! So check out my mood board for Spindle Fire and the other tour stops and then hurry on over to your local bookshop and grab a copy! You won’t regret it!

Spindle Fire Mood Board

BeFunky Collage

About Spindle Fire

30163661Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood–and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape . . . or the reason for her to stay.

Spindle Fire is the first book in a lush fantasy duology set in the dwindling, deliciously corrupt world of the fae and featuring two truly unforgettable heroines.

Amazon | B&N  

About Lexa Hillyer

unnamedLexa Hillyer is the co-founder of Paper Lantern Lit, former YA editor, and author of Proof of Forever. Lexa is also an award-winning poet: Her first collection, Acquainted with the Cold, won the Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize as well as the 2012 Book of the Year Award from ForeWord Reviews. Her poetry has been anthologized in Best New Poets 2012, and has appeared in several journals. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their daughter.

Website | Twitter Instagram

THE GIVEAWAY!

Enter for a chance to win 1 of 3 finished copies of SPINDLE FIRE (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For More, Visit The Other Tour Stops:

4/3: Lost In Lit – Bookish Inspirations

4/4: Ex Libris – Review

4/5: The Irish Banana Review – Makeup Inspirations

4/6: Reads All the Books – Review

4/7: In Wonderland – Guest Post

4/10: Book Scents – Review

4/11: The Fake Steph – Q&A

4/12: Swoony Boys Podcast – Review

4/13: The Bookkeeper’s Secret – Mood Board

4/14: The Story Sanctuary – Review

fun, Lila, Uncategorized

Obsession Confession | Humans Ascend On A Journal

Hello, hello, helloooooo, ducklings! How art thou on this fin spring day? I hope y’all are well! It’s time for this week’s installment of Obsession Confession! So many obsessions, so many confessions! Let’s see what we have…

Books

And once again, we have a week where I don’t have a featured book. Which is not to say that I haven’t been reading! The issue is that, after finishing Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones and The Valiant by Lesley Livingston (which are two vastly different, yet equally amazing books that you totally need to read!), I have been starting books, but not loving them enough to stick with them. *sighhhhhhhh…*

Music


I’ve been rocking out to “Human Touch” by Betty Who for the past week! The song is such a fun tune that’s easy to dance to and sing along with! In fact, I dare you not to do just that when listening to this song!

Movies/TV/Trailers

Recently I got into Syfy’s Ascension! The show was cancelled, but I’m loving watching the first (and only) season on Netflix. I love the mmystery and the science and the stark contrast between life on the spaceship–which is like a snapshot of the 1960s–and life on Earth–which has progressed forward. It’s a fun show full of intrigue and politics and I recommend giving it a chance, especially if you enjoy sci fi mysteries!

Other

I’ve recently really gotten into creative journaling, a fact which is completely hilarious to me as I’ve never been much of a journaling person. But. I’ve always loved collaging and I’ve always loved writing essays, especially taking a prompt and twisting it to write my own story and I also love how people personalize their bullet journals. So I took those ideas and kind of smashed them all together to create a personalized journal! Of course, I wasn’t the first one to have thought something like this up. I searched the tags #creativejournal and #creativejournaling on Instagram and I’ve been getting ideas from all of these stunning journals that people have created! I also looked up “journal challenges” on Tumblr and found some awesome prompts! So I’ve been doing some creative journaling for the past week and a half and I really love it!

News

Big bookish news came this past week when Marissa Meyer announced the title and release date of her new book, which I can officially say is going to be called Renegades! The book will be available in digital, print, and audio format on November 7, 2017. Renegades also is now available for pre-order on Audible! I’m super excited for this book! I loved The Lunar Chronicles, though I wasn’t a major fan of Heartless. However.am really interested in this book in that it’s Meyer’s first book that’s not a retelling (as far as I know) and I’m interested in seeing how she crafts a story that’s all her own! I have faith that she can pull it off, but I guess we’ll see!

Around The Blogosphere/Vlogosphere

Kaja at Of Dragons And Hearts had a neat post on loving shifty characters. I was drawn to the post because I didn’t quite know what Kaja meant by a “shifty character.” To my surprise, I discovered that I too am a big fan of the “shifty character”! So naturally, I loved the post!

Laughing The Pain Away

So this week’s bit of laughter is a little personal for me. Those of you who have been here for a good while probably know three things about me: 1) I attend the #13 best university in the United States, 2) I study biology and physics, and 3) I have horrible academic anxiety that I am currently working through/slowly recovering from. Those things do not spell happiness for me, but I’m leaning to be happy anyway. Part of learning to be happy is learning how to laugh at certain situations and realize that I’m not alone. As a science student at a top university, I’m constantly around people who have accomplished major things. And me? I’ve done…nothing. Really. I’ve been on two medical leaves. That’s it. So I always feel like I’m alone and everyone is better than me. My therapists are always trying to convince me that everyone feels that way, but I wasn’t so sure. I wasn’t so sure until I saw the comic below by Cassandra Cain. It made me laugh, but even more, it made me feel less alone. And slowly, the pain died a little more. So this ones for all y’all with anxiety, academic or otherwise. You’re never alone ❤

tumblr_ol8fr9bcfj1tcbp8vo1_500

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Top 10 Tuesday | Books We Loved Less/More Than We Thought We Would

Hi friends, Claire here. My apologies for posting this nearly at midnight (and therefore almost not on Tuesday)! Today has been a little hectic–I was out of my apartment from 11am to after 11pm. But, better late than never, right? (PS I will be adding pictures (and then deleting this comment) to this post at sometime tomorrow so you can see all the lovely covers.)

What books did you end up liking less or more than you originally thought?

Claire’s Choices

Liked Less

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken is one of my favorite books. I thought the sequels were good, but didn’t live up to the first in the series. I was hoping that with Passenger, I would once again fall in love with Bracken’s work. Unfortunately, Passenger still didn’t quite do it for me. I have hopes for the sequel though!

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

M: I read one page of this book and instantly decided to put it down for another. I plan to give it another shot – I just wasn’t excited about it at the time.
C: I really wanted to like this book more than I did. It’s a book about books and ancient libraries! In the end though, I just didn’t find the world building or the characters compelling enough to continue reading the series, even though the first book was enjoyable.
M: Yes! I was so excited to read a book about books and ancient libraries fascinate me! I wish I could visit a library in Europe, maybe Greece – wherever an awesome, old library exists! The fact that I was bored after the first page may be a sign that I should give it up!

The 100 by Kass Morgan

C: I am an enormous fan of the TV show based off this book–it’s one of ~3 shows currently airing that I watch avidly. So, assuming that the book would be just like the TV show, I went into this book with high hopes. Instead, I found the book to be a bit cliche, the characters underdeveloped, and just overall lacking the grit that makes the TV show so compelling.
M: I see a ton of amazing things about The 100 TV show, but I seem to be the only person in the universe who has never seen it!

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

C: For my feelings on this book, please refer to Lila’s list.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

C: Disclaimer–I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, it’s just that I was expecting more from it (especially after reading The Infernal Devices). I think nostalgia factored a bit into my high rating, since I had some issues with some of the decisions Clare made. Still, I am EXTREMELY excited to get my hands on the next book!
M: I haven’t read Lady Midnight yet, but I’m really excited to! I LOVE The Infernal Devices, although I’ve only read Clockwork Angel thus far. Two words – WILL HERONDALE!
C: One word– SWOON.
M:

Liked More

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

C: I think I talk about this book a lot… I honestly don’t remember why I decided to listen to this audiobook, other than I was about to go on a small road trip by myself, but I absolutely did not expect to become so entrenched in the story. When I finally got to my destination, I didn’t want to leave my car! It goes without saying that I highly recommend this book.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

C: I tried reading this book on two separate occasions but never got very far. Finally, I took it with me this past summer to my apartment with the intention of finally reading it, and I’m glad I did! Although I wasn’t alive in the ‘80s, I loved it I understood one of Cline’s references and appreciated how much detail that went into his worldbuilding. Third time’s the charm!

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

C: I was hesitant to read this, but when I saw it at my library I figured I might as well check it out. I ended up reading it in one night (do not recommend, you will end up in a comatose pool of emotion), and the book has stayed with me ever since.

Cracked by Eliza Crewe

C: For some reason this book was like, $1 on Amazon so I decided to buy it. I had no idea what I was getting into when I started reading it but ended up loving it so much that I immediately bought the other two books in the trilogy.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

C: Given the format of this book, I was unsure if I was going to like it. I initially thought that the pictures and typography would detract from the story, but instead I found the opposite. Not only was the story compelling, but the unique format of the book gave certain parts of the story unexpected depth.
M: This is, as y’all will soon see, is on my ‘less’ list; but I totally agree that the format is amazing!

Lila’s Choices

So I’m starting with books I liked less than I thought I would because a) I’m still salty (okay, when am I not?) and b) I know that’s what y’all came for, don’t even pretend!
M: Lila, you tickle me! 😀

Liked Less

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

L: Ah, The Infinite Sea, also known as “The Most Disappointing Book. Like, Ever.” I adored The 5th Wave–it was engaging, the writing was great, and it had so much meaning, thematically speaking. But The Infinite Sea? It made me want to throw the book against a wall and scream, “WHAT HAPPENED, RICK?! I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU–WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU!!!” Yeahhhhh…Let’s just say I went in with colossal expectations and was sorely disappointed. The Infinite Sea suffered from a bad case of losing itself in its own philosophizing and plot. I left this book scratching my head and wondering what in the world I’d just read.
C: I completely agree with everything you just said. I read it on ebook, and assumed there was an error when I got to the end. I thought for sure that there would be at least another ⅔ left of the story, but nope, that was it. I felt like literally nothing happened in the book, and certain phrases (*cough*undulating waves*cough*) were way overused in an attempt to make the book sound more profound. AND I WAS EXPECTING SO MUCH FROM IT.

Ever The Hunted by Erin Summerill

This book suffered a horrible case of Mediocre Fant

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

C: Red Queen is another one that could have made it onto my “less” list–I was so disappointed with what I thought was a very cliche YA-dystopian-romance.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

M: I usually am not into super descriptive writing, but for some reason, The Star-Touched Queen really sucked me in! Chokshi’s writing just has such an easy flow to it – I’m really looking forward to the next in the series, A Crown of Wishes!

The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard

Liked More

A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

C: My friend recommended this book to me, and I read it despite thinking I wouldn’t like it at all. I ended up devouring it in one sitting, it was so entertaining!

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

M: Yay! I’m thrilled you liked Nimona! I have it, yet still need to read it. I was already excited about it, but it;s going up on my TBR list!

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Maggie’s Choices

Like More

Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan

C: This was such an interesting story! When I picked it up, I definitely wasn’t expecting an alien invasion.

Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

M: I had to read The Good Earth for 8th grade English and I was the ONLY kid in class who fell absolutely in love with this book – EVERYBODY hated it and probably thought I was nuts! There is a gorgeous edition on Amazon that I’m longing for – but I’m too cheap to pay, like, $25 for a paperback…:(

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

C: I read this book in 6th grade and it BLEW MY MIND. I thought all of Dan Brown’s plot twists were exceedingly clever.

Liked Less

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

M: I think my hopes were WAY too high for this book – I was incredibly disappointed and got bored with the plot really fast, but I stuck with it. While beautifully written, nothing happened, at least nothing that interested me. The ending is so predictable that it’s kind of sad…

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

C: Oh noooooooo. I’m sorry you didn’t like this book as much as you thought you would! I have it on my “more” list for just the opposite reason.
M: I did give it four stars on Goodreads! I liked it a little less because the story didn’t hold my attention like I hoped. However, the format of Illuminae blew me away – I LOVE that aspect – that’s the main reason I rated it four stars.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

L: OMG – I LOVED this book so much and then it took a turn for the stupid! I adored the story until the really paranormal aspects hit – I was so disappointed with the ending. It’s seriously like the author got sick of writing and got silly with the plot!

Red Winter by Annette Marie

M: Red Winter sucked me in big time in the beginning then it totally lost me. I was incredibly excited to read another book steeped in Japanese lore, as I really enjoyed The Girl in the Well by Rin Chupeco. I love to read fiction, but learn cool stuff at the same time. So, this book begins with the lore I love, but unfortunately lost its magic midway through the story.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

C: I read this book a while ago (maybe 6 years?) and remember being really excited for a creepy, bloody, haunting tale. What I got was……not that.
M: I expected exactly the same! I thought it was so weird that it turned into a paranormal lovey dovey type tale – THAT gave me the creeps! Plus, at the risk of sounding sick, the manner in which Anna was killed was boring.
Lila, reviews, Uncategorized

Ever The Cliched | Ever The Hunted By Erin Summerill Audiobook Review

24846331Title: Ever The Hunted

Author: Erin Summerill

Format: Audiobook

Narrator: Helen Johns

Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC

Length: 11 hours, 27 minutes

Star Rating: ★★ 0.5/ ☆☆☆☆☆

Goodreads Summary: Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.

So…This book and I had a …tumultuous…relationship. Though I eventually pulled through to the end, there were multiple sections of the book where I just wanted to DNF it. The book was very touch and go in terms of being interesting and was filled with fantasy tropes and clichés. To make it worse, I abhorred the audiobook narrator’s voice. So. Where to begin?

Let’s talk about the characters first. I really didn’t feel any connection to them. They were bland, uncompelling, and watery. Britta doesn’t really have any defining personality traits to make her stand out. Like, I can’t think of any adjective for her other than…bland. Nothing stood out about her. The same goes for every other character. The only standout trait about Cohen, the love interest and the boy who Britta’s “hunting,” is his over-protectiveness when it comes to Britta. Which is not exactly a shining trait to be recognized by, in my opinion. Inat was the clichéd “wizened, old witch in the woods” and also—you guessed it—had no personality traits that jumped out at you, other than having a vague “wise woman” air about her.

In truth, I think this lack of characterization was what really made the book fall flat. The plot—which I’ll get more into in a minute—fell flat because the characters were so emotionally untethered from it, lacking depth and intense motive. The relationships lacked oomph because the characters were so vanilla that you ended up why on earth someone would be interested in someone so boring. For me, I need that emotional connection to at least one character because it gets me invested in wanting to know what happens to them. Instead, I found myself asking “Who cares?” And that? That spells doom for a book when it comes to the chances I’ll want to continue on.

So enough about the characters. Maybe you’re the type of reader who can take bland characters, so long as there’s a good plot. Well don’t hold your breath for this one then. The book switches courses so many times, that the plot completely falls apart. It is due to this that it starts to feel like the characters are just running around for no reason. It’s like “First we have to do this!–Never mind, let’s do that!–Oh, no, wait, let’s do this other thing!” This made me feel like there was no point. Summerill attempts to tie it all together in the end, but it just feels like she’s slapping a Band-Aid on a gaping wound.

Of course, all of this wasn’t helped by the fact that the audiobook narrator, Helen Johns, had the most annoying voice! Her voice was squeaky and high pitched and those qualities were magnified by when she read particularly emotional passages. She read with a good amount of feeling and an even pace, but that was overshadowed by the actual sound of her voice. If you want to read Ever The Hunted, I wouldn’t recommend the audiobook, unfortunately.

So, all in all, Ever The Hunted was not a hit with me, unfortunately. If you’re looking for something fluffy and light, though, this might be something you like. Ya never know!

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Top 10 Tuesday | Maggie and Claire’s Hidden Book Gems We’ve Read in the Last Year

We skipped last week (whoops), but now we’re back with our picks for this week’s Top 10 Tuesday! Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week Maggie and I are going to list some underrated books we’ve read in the last year. Let us know in the comments if you’ve read any hidden gems lately!

Maggie’s Choices

1. The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

2. Seven Ways We Lie by Ridley Redgate

3. Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander

4. Killing Jesus: A History by Bill O’Reilly

5. Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie

6. Phish: The Biography by Parke Puterbaugh

7. The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout

8. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

9. The Schopenhauer Cure by Irvin D. Yalom

10. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann

Claire’s Choices

1. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

2. Bel Dame Apocrypha by Kameron Hurley

3. Bird Box by Josh Malerman

4. The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

5. Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

6. The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan

7. Cracked by Eliza Crewe

8. The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

9. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

10. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

Claire, Uncategorized

Fantasy Series I (Claire) Want to Read in 2017

I just finished reading the first two books of Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archives (review coming sometime relatively soon), and it has filled me with a fervor to read ALL the fantasy books. I have a quite a few fantasy series on my TBR that have been there for a while, and I’m hoping that 2017 is the year I can finally read some of them! One of the good things about putting off reading these for so long is that many of these series have multiple books out already. Perfect for book binging!

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima

Lightbringer by Brent Weeks

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Temeraire by Naomi Novik

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

 

Let me know if you’ve read any of these, and what you thought of them! Also, if anyone has standalone fantasy recommendations (like Uprooted by Naomi Novik), I would LOVE to hear them. 

 

 

 

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Top 10 Tuesday | Claire and Maggie’s Most Anticipated 2017 Debuts

HAPPY NEW YEAR! *throws confetti* Today’s prompt for Top 10 Tuesday (the weekly bookish meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is to list the top 10 2017 debuts you are most excited for. Lila is sitting out this one, but without further ado, here are our lists!

Claire’s Choices

Alas, there are really only 3 debuts I am actively anticipating. Instead of filling the rest of this list with 7 other books I don’t really care about, I decided to stick with just these 3 promising novels.

1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

C: (This is really petty of me because I absolutely love the concept of this book but I really wish she spelled it “You”.)
M: I completely agree with you! It drives me nuts when words aren’t spelled out or are purposely misspelled!

3. Empress of a Thousand Suns by Rhoda Belleza

Maggie’s Choices

1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

2. Gilded Cage by Vic James

M: OMG! Ladies, I just checked my email and I’ve been approved on NetGalley to receive an ARC of this one! Happy dance!!! I never dreamed I’d get approval – I totally requested it just for the hell of it! YAY!
C: Congrats! That’s so exciting!
M:Thanks, Claire! I’m still in shock!!!

Frostblood by Elly Blake

Reaper by Kyra Leigh

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

The Secrets of My Life by Caitlyn Jenner

This is Just My Face by Gabourey Sidibe

M: I adored Gabourey in American Horror Story: Coven and when I discovered she’s written a book, I knew I must have it! She seems so cool and I know she’s hilarious!

Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

You Don’t Know My Name by Kristen Orlando