June 2017 Book Haul

Do you ever feel guilty about buying so many books? Yeah, me neither… for the most part, anyways. 😉

June’s ridiculous amount of physical books I bought/got for review show this truth.

 

“The Chronicles of Faerie” by O.R. Melling: I’ve been wanting to read this series for years. Went to the library awhile ago to finally start, but they did not have the first one available. (How rude!) Now I own three of them.

 

“Dorothy Must Die” series by Danielle Paige: Decided I wanted to try these books. Bookoutlet had a sale, so why not buy them all even though I don’t know if I’ll like the first book?

 

“Of Triton” and “Of Neptune” by Anna Banks: I bought the first book in this series over three years ago and still. have. not. read. it. Saw these for sale, and thought I’d get them. Maybe having them all will encourage me to, you know, actually read them? #bookwormlogic

 

Books 3,4, and 5 of the “Glamourists Histories” by Mary Robinette Kowal: My dearest friend has praised this series, and, seeing the hardcovers on sale, I thought I’d get them even though I have not read books one and two. They’re pretty, don’t you think?

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“Silver Phoenix” and “Fury of the Phoenix” by Cindy Pon: Always looking for Asian-based fantasies, and so I’m happy to have these added to my library.

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“Jane of Austin” by Hilary Manton Lodge: A contemporary retelling of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” that I received for free for review. On my July TBR.

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“These Broke Stars” by Aimee Kaufman and Megan Spooner: I hope this book is as good as it’s gorgeous cover.

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“True to You” by Beck Wade: It was on sale at Lifeway…

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“Defy The Stars” by Claudia Gray: Been eyeing this one for a little while, and, a trip to Barnes and Noble one day saw me leaving with it.

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“King’s Folly” by Jill Williamson: I LOVE the “Blood of Kings” trilogy by Williamson, and this one is supposed to be a prequel series! Found it at a good price and now it is mine. Mwhahahaha! 😀

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“Stealing Snow” by Danielle Page: Because, when buying the author’s other series that is on sale, why not pick up another book by her?

 

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“The Conspiracy of Us” by Maggie Hall: I was at Dollar Tree late one evening, and I found this book. Say what? One of my best deals of the month, for sure.

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“Flamecaster” by Cindy Williams Chima: I had not seen this book before one day browsing at Barnes and Noble. I’m interested in seeing if it is as cool as its cover.

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“Love, Lies, and Spies” by Cindy Antsey: A fun looking regency that I found on sale.

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“Hello, I Love You” by Katie M. Stout: K-Pop. A heroine named Grace. Yesss.

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“Counted With the Stars” by Connilyn Cossette: That cover. ❤

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“Sirens” by Janet Fox: Another good deal. The price was marked $0.99.

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“My Lady Jane” by Cythia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows: This funny re-imagining of Lady Jane Grey’s story is one of my current reads. Picked it up at Barnes and Noble.

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“Ghost Talkers” by Mary Robinette Kowal: I looove the cover of this book. Normally priced way out of my comfortable-book-buying-price, I found it at a nicer price at Bookoutlet.

Did you get any books is June? Feel free to share. 😀

“Wildwood Dancing” by Juliet Marillier

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About The Book :

 An awesome retelling of the fairy tale, “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” Seriously.

My Review:

  I had my eye on “Wildwood Dancing” for a over year.  I mean, just look at the magnificence of its cover! It’s so whimsical and intricately detailed. But of course we all know that no matter how fabulous a cover is, what makes the book fully grip our hearts is whether or not the words inside touch us. Well, thankfully, the words inside this book were just as lovely as the cover upon it.

Going into a “Twelve Dancing Princess” retelling, I was somewhat wary that there would be dull scene after scene of just dancing. Do not get me wrong— dancing isn’t something I disapprove in books— but I prefer the story around it to flow and swirl just as smoothly as dancing should be done, and not just be focused on complicated steps and what not. And that is the case with this book. The author gave a story with sisters who visit a most magical world and dance, yet it is not dull and every dancing moment was far from putting me to sleep. *applause*

I found it rather interesting that this book takes place in Transylvania, a place we all associate with… well, monsters some people would rather not meet up with. And of course, vampires are the creatures that I speak of. And as weird as it sounds, this book does have these creatures, though they’re called Night People. Their use in the realm of magical creatures we are more familiar with in fairy tales (like fairies and dwarfs) was different, but a pretty neat idea to me. While there is mention of a supposed vampire attack on one person and some animals, it was never squeamishly gory, and so the inclusion of these creatures was well done. *more applause*

As for the characters, most of them were so likable. Jena is one of the more quiet literary heroines who doesn’t have to wield a sword to be cool. And I just love her little frog companion, Gogu. Her sisters were also very well developed, and they seemed very real. I actually liked that this particular Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling had only 5 sisters, so there were less characters to keep up with. But the few characters in them were awesome— save the villains — and I’d like to read more about them. (I have read the sequel to this book, but there NEEDS to be another…) *loudest applause*

Negatives for this book for me are few.  First, there were a couple uses of God’s name as exclamations (not in my copy now, mwahahaha…).

Next, while there were parts I didn’t see coming, I guessed early on about one thing thing and was right, and I wished I could have been more surprised. But my Sherlock moment wasn’t enough to ruin my overall enjoyment of this tale.

Lastly, I wasn’t very comfortable with the inclusion of a witch character. It is a fantasy, though, so I just took her as another fantasy type, such as a fairy.

In the end, with sweetness, adventure, and cutest little ending, I closed the book and hugged it because it was such a lovely tale for me. No, it wasn’t one hundred percent perfect, but over all I really enjoyed it and do plan to try some more by this author. Her storytelling is beautiful, and I find myself wanting more. I give “Wildwood Dancing” by Juliette Marillier a rating of four and a half (since it’s not quite a five because some of the content, but I overall like it quite a bit.).

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

Drama Wednesday (11) — What I’m Watching

Today for Drama Wednesday, I’m sharing some stuff about dramas I’m watching.

 

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“Circle: Two Worlds Connected” (2017)— Oh. my. Oh. my. OH MY! This drama. You guys, THIS DRAMA IS AWESOME!!! (+a gazillion more exclamation points)

I have not seen a drama quite like it. It’s a sci-fi tale that has an alien, a futuristic world with a “perfect” city, cool technology…. Yet the thing that just makes it so stinking amazing is the plot. Sooo good, ya’ll. I’m on episode 7, and I think they have up through episode 10 available on Dramafever . It’s supposed to only have 12 episodes, so I think the last two air next week. Which is bad, because if I finish what is available before then, I might suffer some show withdrawals. #thesearenotgood

 

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“Sweet Stranger and Me” (2016)— This drama is one I’m taking my time getting through, though not because it is a bad drama. I like it thus far, but it sadly pales in comparison to some of the other dramas I’m watching at this time. However, it is enjoyable, and does make me smile. Also, can I just mention the theme song? I LOVE it. On episode 8.

 

 

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“My Sassy Girl” (2017)— I was not too sure about this drama when I was first started watching it. It was funny, yes, but (for me) it was also sometimes confusing ,and maybe a little slow in parts of it.  However, I decided to push through the first episode and a half that had me questioning it, and I’m glad I did because it is turning out to be an entertaining show. A nice amount of funny mixed with some mystery and palace politics? Um, YES. I’ve made it to episode 7, but only eight episodes are currently available since this is a currently airing show.

 

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“The Best Hit” (2017)— Last, but not least, I am watching “The Best Hit.” This show about a 90’s pop star who travels to the future is hilarious. It is probably even funnier than “My Sassy Girl.” The episodes are shorter than most K-Dramas, less than 45 minutes long. This is the only one of all the dramas I’m watching that I have watched all of the currently available episodes. I kind of need more now, but the next episodes aren’t available until Friday. #whyyy? #needthemnowdramfever

If you like comedy, you should try this series. I think episode one was probably the slowest of the available episodes, so be sure not to judge the show by just watching one episode, okay? Okay. 😀

 

What Dramas Are You Watching? Please share.

Drama Wednesday (10)— Korean…Books

I love books. I love Korean things. (Dramas. Music. ETC.) No big shock that I get rather excited when I find them combined. It’s like when you mix all of your favorite ice creams together and come up with a wondrous creation that exceeds the individual flavors. (Okay, so this is a rare thing, but imagine if it did work out?)

Today I thought I would share some  books that are either K-Drama/K-Pop themed, or  have Korean elements, that I hope to read soon. These books are ones I have found while wasting time browsing the internet. (No, I’ve not read/finished reading any of them, so I cannot recommend them. They just look like stuff I’d read and like.):

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“K-Love” by Devon Atwood and Alice Cornwall— K-Love is one of my favorite radio stations, but this book is a YA about love that starts with a mother’s love of Korean Dramas. How? The mother sets her daughter up on a blind date with a Korean guy all because of her love for Korean dramas. *plans to buy soon*

 

“Kidnapped Idol,” “Undercover Fan,” and “Snowflake Kisses” by Jennie Bennet— This series of novellas looks so cute. They follow K-Pop stars, and I need them on my shelf right now.

 

“Eun and the Phantom,” “Foxtails,” and “Evangeline” by Erica Laurie— “Eun and the Phantom” is about a woodcutter’s daughter who falls in love with a man cursed to be a phantom. “Foxtails” takes place in regency England, but has Gumihos, which are Korean mythical creatures also known as nine-tailed-foxes. “Evangeline” is about a modern day American girl who is transported to a fantasy world that resembles a historical Korea.

 

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“Hello, I Love You” by Katie M. Stout—Another K-Pop book, this is about a girl who falls in love with a K-Pop star. I’m sure there’s more to it, but that’s all I feel like sharing.

 

“To All The Boys I Loved Before,” “P.S. I Still Love You,” and “Always and Forever, Lara Jean” by Jenny Han— This series just looks like a fun contemporary. It’s about a half-Korean girl who writes letters to boys she has crushes on. These letters are not meant to be seen by the crushes, but someone sends them out. Not. good.

 

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“Lady of Dreams” by W.R. Gingell— This book is another that takes place in a fantasy land that resembles Korea. The heroine is “Half Korean” and can spy on people through dreaming.

 

Do you have any suggestions for books that include Korean elements? Please share. 😀

“Illusionary” by Desiree Williams— Blog Tour Book Review

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Today I’m joining in the blog tour for Desiree Williams’ newest book, “Illusionary,” a story that is just as impressive as its perfectly pink and purple cover. 😀

About Illusionary:

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Dorothy got sucked into a tornado.

Alice fell down a hole.

Wendy flew to Neverland.

Kamryn? She tripped down the stairs.

  Now, Kamryn Kensington finds herself in a strange new world. Within minutes of her arrival, she dodges an archer’s arrow and avoids getting sliced up by a cosplay reject holding a dagger to her throat. And that’s before the storyteller’s breath brings stories to life.

Home is the mission—to return to her family and pursue her life’s dream of art and travel. Yet the longer she’s in the Land of Ur, the harder it is not to feel for the people she meets. Even her artistic side can’t help but breathe in the beautiful wonder and magic of this new world. So when the Oracle hands her a different quest, she takes it on the condition he sends her home afterward.  

  No one thought to warn her of a jealous queen and her dragon minions. Or that, by helping her, the cute storyteller would go crazy. Or that her heart would rip in two when she left. Those would’ve been great facts to know ahead of time.

Considering that nothing in Ur is what it seems, the mission proves to be more than she ever imagined. But more than her own future will be in jeopardy if Kamryn doesn’t succeed.

My Review:

  This book surprised me. It was not really what I was expecting it to be— but I mean this is the most positive of ways. Like, wow. It is awwwesome.

So the story starts like  other our world/other-world mixed books, with a heroine from our world finding herself in another world, then soon realizing she needs to do some rescuing. As cliche as this may sound, this book is quite unique, and had at number of surprises. Honestly, the ending was nowhere close to how I originally thought it would be.

As for the characters, I’ll first speak about the heroine, Kam. She was so stinking relate-able to me. She suffers from struggling to grow up, but not in a Peter Pan “I Never Want To Grow Up” way. It’s more like she wants to grow up, yet she does not want to relinquish the simple joys of youth. This is SO ME. I’ve never seen a character with this sort of struggle before, so I just loved this aspect of Kam, and how she came to terms with how to proceed with her future despite wanting to grip the daylights out of hold on to her past. She also has a funny sense of sarcasm, and how I do love sarcasm (Probably not a good thing, but I like it. #ialsoalmostuseitdaily).

Reese, Torin, The Duchess, and the boys (a.k.a. the treasures) were also fun, and were great additions to further the feel of the story. I have to say I had some pretty sad feels, though, when I found out who the treasures  really were. Like… 😥

The world of Ur is also an interesting place. I especially liked the descriptions of the Duchess’s palace.

*thinks of more to write*

It is actually hard to review this book without spoiling too much, so I’m just going to wrap it up with a few last words:

This story is totally worth a read, especially for those who like a Christian YA that has a great underlining message that does not feel preachy, but instead crushes your heart with emotions. It is a fantasy, yes, but there absolutely is stuff that contemporary, 21st century people can relate to. I loved how the story blended together, and am pleased with myself for deciding to give it a try. *pats self on shoulder* I do plan to read more from this author, and totally recommend that you pick this one up. I give it a rating of four and a half.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

Purchase Links:

About the Author:

Desiree

Desiree Williams is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.

You can find out more about Desiree and her books at www.desireewilliamsbooks.com

Social Media Links:

Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Goodreads / Newsletter

Giveaway!:

Desiree has graciously offered to give away the following prizes: a “Make everyday an adventure” pillow, “Don’t Grow Up! It’s a Trap!” metal sign, book cozy, signed paperback of Illusionary, notebook with pens, sketch book with colored pencils, and a “Eat Cake for Breakfast” travel cup.

The winner of the grand prize giveaway will be selected on Monday, Jun 12th at approx. 9 AM (EST). The winner will be announced on my Facebook and Twitter pages.

Illusionary Blog Tour Giveaway

Giveaway Link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule

June 5th Launch Day – HOPE through the Pages

            Spotlight – Rachel Lopez

            Book Review – Jebraun Clifford – Dream. Write. Repeat.

            Interview – Jilligan’s Island

June 6th Book Review – Indie Book Reviews

            Spotlight – Christian Book News

            Interview – Bookworm Mama

June 7th Book Review – Zernia Blossom’s Books

            Book Review – Prismatic Prospects

            Interview – Dolphin18cb

June 8th Book Review – Lands Uncharted

            Book Review – Seasons of Humility

            Interview – Liv K. Fisher

June 9th Book Review – She Hearts Fiction

            Book Review – Chrissi Reads

            Spotlight – Dreams of Faerytales

            Guest Post – Jannette Fuller

June 10th Wrap-Up Post – HOPE through the Pages

“Waking Beauty” by Sarah E. Morin- Book Review

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About The Book (From Publisher’s Website):

The rescue wasn’t going at all how he planned. Prince Arpien intends to gain a throne and the sleeping beauty’s heart with a single kiss that wakes her from the evil fairy’s curse. But kissing the princess is only the beginning of a series of unforeseen obstacles: man–eating bugs, deadly spindles, talking lapdogs, and fiery pickles.”

My Review:

This is an awesome “Sleeping Beauty” retelling! Allow me to share the first line from it:

  “His princess was dusty.”

I seriously loved that line from the moment I read it, and it was just the first to amuse me. This book looks like a daunting read— it’s big, probably the largest retelling of this story I’ve ever read— but ALL 400+ pages were well-worth the story inside. It’s a funny tale in places, yes, so it gets big points from me for that. But it also has a good allegorical parts as well. This was such a beautiful part of the story, and one I think others who like this in their books will also appreciate.

I also really liked (most of) the characters, and was pleased that not only does this book have the point of views of the prince and sleeping beauty, but a new character who gives this story an edge of uniqueness. To be honest, she’s probably my favorite of the three, likely because she’s the most relate-able due to her familiarity with being practically invisible to others, and, of course, her love of fairy tales. Brierly (Sleeping Beauty), and Arpien (The prince) were also good, fairly well-developed characters. I liked how this story delved into the “other” gifts  from the fairies that were bestowed on Brierly other than just her beauty. They made her quite the interesting princess. And Arpien… Such a charming prince, and one whose past makes feel sorry for. Neither of them were perfect, but overall they were pretty cool characters to spend time with, and whose interactions with each other were sometimes quite delightful. This helped make them a memorable couple that are superior to the original Disney film that was once my only view into this fairy tale.

I know I’ve mentioned this book is funny, but I’m going to praise the amusing-ness of this tale a bit more. While this tale is by far not exactly what I would call a comedy, it had just the right amount of humor to make it not too droll, and absolutely lovable.

As for any problems with the book, I think the one major issue I had was how Brierly was so insistent that she was not awake. I just did not understand her. Of course, I don’t think some of the other characters did either… This wasn’t a huge problem for me, though, so I’m not going to go on and on about it.

In the end, I have decided to give “Waking Beauty” a rating of five, because when I was done and my thoughts on it were put all together, I found it a pretty great read. What makes me sad is that I don’t seem to seem to see many others going for this book,  and I wish they— and you— would try it because it really is a wonderful fairy tale retelling. “Sleeping Beauty” has never really been one of my favorite fairy tales, but this story gave it a whole new outlook for me and made me like the story even more. So go and get yourself a copy of this book and read it now. Right now. Now…

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Recent Fantasy/Sci-Fi Additions

The TBR pile. It is an exciting, yet daunting thing. Exciting because ALL THE BOOKS *happy dance while hugging all the books*. Daunting because I will probably never get to all of them, even if I joined the Dauntless faction and did some serious training in the art of reading.

However, the exciting part wins over the daunting part, because to this day I still add books to the stack(s).

Today for Top Ten Tuesday, we’re to post the Top Ten Books we’ve recently added in (X) genre to our To Be Read pile. I have chosen Fantasy/Sci-Fi:

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“Quests for Glory” by Soman Chainani— While I had some issues with the original trilogy, it still stole my heart enough that I would not have mind there being more to this series. Imagine my surprise when I found there is a new book releasing this fall! *wishes it were already out* #teamhortandsophie

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“Lady of Dreams” by W.R. Gingell— Sounds kind of like a Korean Drama, and I may or may not be planning to buy this. Released today, by the way.

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“Evageline” by Erica Laurie— Another one that looks like a K-Drama (Yes, I love books that are like Korean Dramas, Mention Korean Dramas, etc.). It has such a cute cover. 😀

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“The Star-Touched Queen” by Roshani Chokshi— I bought this at Barnes and Noble because 1. Pretty Cover. 2. The writing. What little I read was BEAUTIFUL.

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“Because You Love To Hate Me” by Various Authors— Why this? Because I Love  the Writings of Two of the Authors. *cough* Marissa Meyer and Soman Chainani *cough*

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“Defy The Stars” by Claudia Gray— While part of me is a little wibbly wobbly on reading this book, there is a part of me that want to give it a try because that cover.

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“The Crown’s Game” by Evelyn Skye— Just sounds like an interesting book. (<—Such an original reason to read. #not)

t6

“The Jane Austen Project” by Kathleen A. Flynn— This is a time-travel book where the characters try to save Jane Austen’s life. If only this could really happen.

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“Forest of a Thousand Lanterns” by Julie C. Dao— Yes, this was on my last TTT list, but *Gollum Voice* I REALLY WANTS TO READS ITS.

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“Diving Under” by Ginna Moran— A romance with mermaids? Yes, please. #pleasehurryandrelease

 

Have any opinions on the above books? What are some books you have recently added to your TBR? (Unless you are a strange creature who has not done that in awhile.)