Kel Friday, February 27, 2015 reviewAfter getting approved for an eARC of Death Marked, I rushed to acquire a copy of the first book in the duology, Death Sworn, which I liked. (See review here.) I immediately dove straight from Book 1 into Book 2 and, perhaps because of that, was hyper-aware of the similarities between the two, which was sometimes good...and sometimes not so good.
Warning: review may contain some spoilers for Book 1, but the synopsis DEFINITELY does. You have been warned.
This eARC was provided through Edelweiss for review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Death Marked by Leah Cypess
Series: Death Sworn #2
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Published on March 3, 2015
Published by Greenwillow
Final Rating: 3 stars
A young sorceress’s entire life has been shaped to destroy the empire controlling her world. But if everything she knows is a lie, will she even want to fulfill her destiny? The sequel to Death Sworn is just as full of magic and surprising revelations, and will thrill fans of Leigh Bardugo and Robin LaFevers.
At seventeen, Ileni lost her magical power and was exiled to the hidden caves of the assassins. She never thought she would survive long. But she discovered she was always meant to end up, powerless, in the caves as part of an elder sorcerer’s plan to destroy the evil Empire they'd battled so long. Except that Ileni is not an assassin, and she doesn't want to be a weapon. And, after everything, she’s not even sure she knows the truth. Now, at the very heart of the Empire—its academy for sorcerers—the truth is what she seeks. What she finds challenges every belief she holds dear—and it threatens her fledgling romance with the young master of assassins.
Leah Cypess spins an intricate and beautiful conclusion to Ileni's story. In the end, it may not be the epic decisions that bring down an empire, but the small ones that pierce the heart.
Kel Thursday, February 26, 2015It's been both lazy and hectic since I got back from NYC Sunday, if that makes sense. On the one hand, everything seems to move at a much slower pace compared to the Big Apple. On the other...work, taxes, FAFSA, etc. So, yeah, in some ways it feels busier. ;)
I've been a little off-schedule this week, so in case you missed them:
NYC Weekend Recap (with photos of food and me freezing in the cold)
Top 10 Favorite Heroines
Um...do tax forms count? No, I didn't think so. Despite the cold, I didn't spend much time holing up in the New York hotel, so I need to catch up on my reading. Which is good?
Kel Wednesday, February 25, 2015 top10
This week's topic is "Top 10 Favorite Heroines From Books (or Movies/TV)." I was having issues coming up with 10 in any one category for some strange reason, so we'll do a mix. :)
1. Mulan - I loved that Mulan was stubborn and strategic and turned the Disney damsel-in-distress norm on its head, but also that she had to work hard for everything. She didn't magically wake up and have mad fighting skills. It was a journey. I also liked that she was still a girl. Maybe not the "normal" idea of "feminine," but even as a girl pretending to be a guy, she was still a girl. :)
2. Esmeralda - Besides the fact that she has an AWESOME song, Esmeralda is a good mixture of confidence and vulnerability. She also has a strong sense of justice and is willing to step forward and do something to effect change. She's not fearless, she's not faultless, but she's tries to do the right thing.
Kel Sunday, February 22, 2015I returned today from a weekend in New York City, which I won through a sweepstakes from Ruckus Books. I had an amazing time. A major thank you to all the folks at Ruckus for hosting the sweepstakes and making the trip awesome!
Photo recap! :) (And possibly the most pictures of me I have ever posted online at once.)
Friday night: Bibimbap at this great little Korean restaurant
Kel Thursday, February 19, 2015 reviewMini-reviews are tweaked versions of reviews I wrote before starting the blog. It's a good way to show some love to older books (and keep me from panicking when I slack off and don't have anything new). The originals remain on Goodreads (unless it was, like, one sentence), and the new reviews get posted here in between reviews of books I'm currently reading. How to tell them apart? The mini-reviews get this cool intro paragraph. :)
Series: Between #1
Genres: YA, Paranormal, Romance
Published on August 15, 2013
Published by Dial
Final Rating: 1 star
You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…
Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard.
Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?
Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery... who makes you want to kiss back.
Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.
Kel Wednesday, February 18, 2015I'm headed to New York City with a friend this weekend. It should be fun, but freezing. I'm definitely packing warm clothes. We only have concrete plans for one afternoon and the rest is just exploring and hanging out, so if anyone has any suggestions for what to do in NYC (when it's horrendously cold out), I'd love to hear them!
Ravelry - I don't have the skills (or, let's face it, the patience) to pull off most of these patterns, but it's nice to dream. And the search parameters are a little more precise than Pinterest.
[Code]cademy - I've been wanting to learn more coding for a while. This is a free site with lessons for different languages and full projects, so I'm giving it a try. Wish me luck!
Kel Monday, February 16, 2015 discussion
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I love to travel when I can. I recently read Love, Lucy, a modern retelling of A Room With a View, and, despite not loving the book, it had me itching to fly to Italy and beyond. Which is dead expensive and not really possible right now, but someday!
My answers to these questions were: fun, probably, fun/change/new, quickly and yes. :)
Kel Friday, February 13, 2015 reviewI remember when V.E. Schwab (a.k.a. Victoria Schwab) first started tweeting about this mysterious new project involving a guy named Kell- one "l" too many, but close enough ;) - a thief, pirates and all sorts of craziness and magic. It sounded pretty awesome. Having just finished the preview excerpt of the first 150 pages, I have high hopes for the rest.
This preview excerpt eARC was provided through NetGalley for review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Series: A Darker Shade of Magic #1
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Published on February 24, 2015
Published by Tor Books
Final Rating: TBD
Series: A Darker Shade of Magic #1
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Published on February 24, 2015
Published by Tor Books
Final Rating: TBD
Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.
Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London - but no one speaks of that now.
Kel Friday, February 13, 2015
Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their website.
Post the award's logo on your blog.
Answer the ten questions you have been asked.
Nominate 10 other bloggers and ask them 10 other questions.
1. What YA book to movie adaption is your favorite?
It's not technically YA, but "The Princess Bride" is one of my favorite movies period, so it counts.
Kel Thursday, February 12, 2015 reviewMini-reviews are tweaked versions of reviews I wrote before starting the blog. It's a good way to show some love to older books (and keep me from panicking when I slack off and don't have anything new). The originals remain on Goodreads (unless it was, like, one sentence), and the new reviews get posted here in between reviews of books I'm currently reading. How to tell them apart? The mini-reviews get this cool intro paragraph. :)
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars #1
Genres: YA, Sci-fi, Dystopian, Retelling
Published on June 12, 2012
Published by Balzer + Bray
Final Rating: 4 stars
It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.
Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.
But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.
Inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.
Kel Wednesday, February 11, 2015The big news this week is, of course, that I got accepted to law school. I start this fall, which may mean some changes for the blog, but no worries. I'll still be around. :)
So that's taking up the bulk of my time right now. The application process is done, but there's still FAFSA to fill out, and I'm trying to figure out whether I'll be able to go full-time, what with my job and all.
Despite my reservations (and my continued annoyance that Winter was pushed back), I grabbed Fairest from the library. It's not bad, but a little disappointing. Levana failed to terrify and, though she's definitely dangerous, the whole story left me with a kind of meh feeling. I followed that up with expectation-less digging into free ebooks I downloaded ages ago on my Nook. Blood Faerie was actually pretty decent...until the bonding/romance completely took over. :P
Kel Tuesday, February 10, 2015 top10
Ah, romance! That...thing. >.> Yes...so, here are 5 things I (generally) like in my book romances and 5 things I don't like (with very, very few exceptions).
Subplot: unless I'm in a very particular mood, I like romance as a subplot, not the main plot.
Slow burn: relationships that slowly, believably develop. Slow burn or no burn.
Friendship: romances that start as and continue to be strong friendships
Choice: the couple is together by virtue of a mutual commitment to one another as opposed to "until I 'fall in love' with someone else." There's often a sense of finality to it, like a choice has been made and that's that.
Humor: super serious romance runs the risk of becoming "Romeo & Juliet." Make 'em laugh!
Kel Monday, February 09, 2015 discussionBig news: I will officially be attending law school. I got accepted to one and start this fall. (Wow, how soon is that?) My brain is mostly occupied with figuring out whether I'll be able to go full-time or not and how that will work with my job, but I wanted to spend a quick second talking about the blog.
When big life changes hit, hobbies get shifted in the priority list. I've seen different bloggers handle it differently. Some cut back on the number of posts per week. Some solicit guest posts or co-bloggers to even out the workload. Others (Tabitha) are Wonder Woman and never seem to slow down. ;)
I'm not sure what law school will mean for Booked til Tuesday. Rest assured, I definitely plan to continue blogging. But I'm going to be doing some combination of school and work and have no illusions about how insane my schedule will be. It'll be 3-4 years of crazy. (Possibly with breaks in the summer...or not.)
So, thoughts? I know this is six months away, but I'm a planner. I want to at least gather some ideas to mull over (and maybe test-run, as in the case of a co-blogger). Besides, you're all so smart! :)
Kel Friday, February 06, 2015 reviewThis series has been very up and down for me. I love the premise: famous children in history taken by time traveling kidnappers get stranded in our present and have to time travel to fix time itself. The first two books were great. The third was all setup and a little boring. The fourth! Wow! And the fifth broke everything we knew (in a good way). Then the sixth was a return to business as usual, and a little bit of a letdown. Revealed, the seventh book, is a lot of setup, but it also upends what we knew.
Revealed by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Series: The Missing
Genres: MG, Sci-fi, Historical
Published on September 2, 2014
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Final Rating: 2 stars
After a mysterious cameo from Charles Lindbergh, it’s up to Jonah to save his town in the seventh book of the New York Times bestselling The Missing series, which Kirkus Reviews calls “plenty of fun and great for history teachers as well.
It’s morning as usual at the Skidmore household—until Charles Lindbergh, the famous historical pilot, appears in their living room. Jonah can hardly believe his eyes—and then Lindbergh grabs Katherine and vanishes again. And that’s not all. Chip, Andrea, and all the other children from the plane have disappeared too. And worst of all, Jonah’s parents and all the other adults in his town have de-aged into children.
Jonah is the only one left, and the only one who can save everyone. With the help of de-aged JB and Angela, he has to collect the clues. And they lead directly back to Gary and Hodge, and a terrible plot that could mean the end of everything Jonah has ever loved. Can Jonah put the pieces together before time runs out?
Kel Wednesday, February 04, 2015Good news: I did a lot of reading this weekend, am ahead on my Goodreads Challenge (enjoy it while it lasts, right?), and got to help my cousin do some winter cleaning.
Bad news: all that reading time kind of ousted my blog reading, so I am way behind on reading and commenting on everyone's recent posts. I'm sorry! I will try to catch up soon.
Kel Tuesday, February 03, 2015 top10
I've come to the depressing conclusion that I am a "Lucy"- and not the adventurous one from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Think more A Room with a View, but minus all the romance. That is, while I love the idea of jetting off to travel or teach English in another country for a year, the second I start running the logistics in my mind, I know I won't do it, no matter how much I want to.
I will do some major traveling one day, but for now, I will content myself with books. Because books make everything better. :)
Kel Monday, February 02, 2015 discussionThis year, with the possibility of law school looming on the horizon, I've decided to cut non-essential spending to the absolute bare minimum.
I'm generally pretty frugal to begin with. I don't eat out often; I don't see many movies in theaters; I only go clothes shopping a few times a year during really good sales. Books are my one weakness. I buy way too many of them. ;)
The good news is, this means I'm already used to having fun on a budget, but now I'll have to get even more creative...