Sunday, May 3, 2015

New Releases: May 3-9

Release of the Week

Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon and made to live in virtual imprisonment on the Isle of the Lost. The island is surrounded by a magical force field that keeps the villains and their descendants safely locked up and away from the mainland. Life on the island is dark and dreary. It is a dirty, decrepit place that's been left to rot and forgotten by the world.

But hidden in the mysterious Forbidden Fortress is a dragon's eye: the key to true darkness and the villains' only hope of escape. Only the cleverest, evilest, nastiest little villain can find it...who will it be?

Maleficent, Mistress of the Dark: As the self-proclaimed ruler of the isle, Maleficent has no tolerance for anything less than pure evil. She has little time for her subjects, who have still not mastered life without magic. Her only concern is getting off the Isle of the Lost.

Mal: At sixteen, Maleficent's daughter is the most talented student at Dragon Hall, best known for her evil schemes. And when she hears about the dragon's eye, Mal thinks this could be her chance to prove herself as the cruelest of them all.

Evie: Having been castle-schooled for years, Evil Queen's daughter, Evie, doesn't know the ins and outs of Dragon Hall. But she's a quick study, especially after she falls for one too many of Mal's little tricks.

Jay: As the son of Jafar, Jay is a boy of many talents: stealing and lying to name a few. Jay and Mal have been frenemies forever and he's not about to miss out on the hunt for the dragon's eye.

Carlos: Cruella de Vil's son may not be bravest, but he's certainly clever. Carlos's inventions may be the missing piece in locating the dragon's eye and ending the banishment for good.

Mal soon learns from her mother that the dragon's eye is cursed and whoever retrieves it will be knocked into a deep sleep for a thousand years. But Mal has a plan to capture it. She'll just need a little help from her "friends." In their quest for the dragon's eye, these kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain't so bad.
Other Releases



Sunday, April 26, 2015

New Releases: April 26- May 2

Release of the Week

Antony and Cleopatra. Helen of Troy and Paris. Romeo and Juliet. And now . . . Henry and Flora.

For centuries Love and Death have chosen their players. They have set the rules, rolled the dice, and kept close, ready to influence, angling for supremacy. And Death has always won. Always.

Could there ever be one time, one place, one pair whose love would truly tip the balance?

Meet Flora Saudade, an African-American girl who dreams of becoming the next Amelia Earhart by day and sings in the smoky jazz clubs of Seattle by night. Meet Henry Bishop, born a few blocks and a million worlds away, a white boy with his future assured — a wealthy adoptive family in the midst of the Great Depression, a college scholarship, and all the opportunities in the world seemingly available to him.

The players have been chosen. The dice have been rolled. But when human beings make moves of their own, what happens next is anyone’s guess.

Achingly romantic and brilliantly imagined, The Game of Love and Death is a love story you will never forget.
Other Releases



Sunday, April 19, 2015

New Releases: April 19-25

Release of the Week





Laia is a slave.
Elias is a soldier.
Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
Other Releases:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Published: December 1, 2013
Allen & Unwin
374 (Paperback)
Starbound #1
My Rating:
3.5 of 5 stars

It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets to the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they're worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other's arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder - would they be better off staying in this place forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won't be the same people who landed on it.

The first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

New Releases: April 12-18

Release of the Week

Mysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yep, Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially this one where she’s in a graveyard at night, watching four boys perform dark magic rituals.

The really weird thing is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re classmates from her new school in London, the school where’s she’s starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again). But they seem to know things about her in real life that they couldn’t possibly know, which is mystifying. Then again, Liv could never resist a good mystery. . .

Other Releases:

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Thoughts for Thursday: DNF Books

Thoughts for Thursday is a discussion post mainly about book related things. It isn't every week, but we try to do it as often as possible.


As a full time student with a job, sports, and extracurricular activities my time for reading has been shortened drastically. There was time when I never even dreamed of putting a book down without finishing. I would finish that book no matter how bad. However, I've realized that I don't see the point in finishing a book I don't enjoy. Why was I wasting my time on something that seemed like a chore? I would avoid the book for as long as possible, but I would never actually put it away. I guess I felt obligated to finish it because I had this secret hope that the end would somehow make up for the other 90% of the book and I felt obligated to finish books that I received through review requests.

The important thing is that you should never feel obligated to finish a book that you dread reading or that just isn't your thing. Honestly, putting down some books that I just didn't want to read felt great because I was free to read something I would enjoy more and I would also get to avoid writing an extremely negative review that would probably end up turning into more of a rant.

I know some people write reviews for the books they don't finish, but I don't think that I'll ever do that. I might write a little paragraph about why I stopped reading, but it's not really a review and I don't rate the book. Mostly because I feel that if I haven't read the entire book I can't give a review it because I don't know anything about what happens after the part that I stopped it. I'm not saying that you shouldn't write DNF reviews because occasionally I actually like reading DNF reviews, I'm only saying that I don't like to.


I am actually in the middle of this debate myself with review requests. Being in the same boat as Erika, I just don't have all of the reading time that I used to. When I miraculously find time between school, projects, skiing, softball, and a different club each day of the week, I want to sit down with a book I will thoroughly enjoy. Some books I get through really quickly, especially printed copies. Print is just so much easier to read visually, plus I can take it out during class where electronics are banned.  It's one think if it was a pleasure book, I would feel a a bit guilty but I could manage abandoning it. However, what do I do when an author asks for a review of their book and here I am 2 months later not even halfway through? I feel obligated to finish and write a review but at the same time I just can't force myself to do it.

I recently pushed all of my requests aside in order to start reading The Ring of Solomon (Bartimaeus 0.5) by Jonathan Stroud. Let me tell you, it feels sooooooo good. This book has been in my possession since I met him at an event almost a year ago and I'm just now getting to it. It was just euphoric to be in control again and calling my own shots. In conclusion I guess I'm basically agreeing with Erika. You do you and avoid all of the negative emotions coming from a book you just can't get through.

On the topic of DNF reviews, I would never be able to do that. Sure I didn't like it and might want to share that, but at the same time I don't feel like it's my place to write about a book I haven't fully read. I know I personally hate when people do the same thing in real life. It's just really annoying to hear/read something when the creator obviously doesn't know what they're talking about. I wouldn't want to contribute to that problem. Not saying there is anything really wrong with the concept, but I personally would never do that. This pretty much brings me full circle to the guilt when I haven't reviewed a requested book that I didn't finish >.<

Do you feel obligated to finish a book or write DNF reviews?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

New Releases: April 5-11

Release of the Week

The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu
Wily, charming Kuni Garu, a bandit, and stern, fearless Mata Zyndu, the son of a deposed duke, seem like polar opposites. Yet, in the uprising against the emperor, the two quickly become the best of friends after a series of adventures fighting against vast conscripted armies, silk-draped airships, soaring battle kites, conspiring goddesses, underwater boats, magical books, as a streetfighter-cum-general who takes her place as the greatest tactitian of the age. Once the emperor has been overthrown, however, they each find themselves the leader of separate factions—two sides with very different ideas about how the world should be run and the meaning of justice.
Other Releases: