Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Quick Update + Be Back Soon



I'm taking the week off, and maybe a bit more time, to stay caught up on graduate school homework1 and to try to get my health in order. I spent most of September dealing with vertigo, and now I've been having a lot of stress-related health issues. So, I'm slowly trying to figure out what the main sources of stress are in my life (one probably being school) and how to work around them so I can stay healthy. Any tips on how you de-stress would be helpful!

In the meantime, be sure to check out my review of ATLANTIA by Ally Condie (and see my 7 Reasons To Read ATLANTIA post) and enter to win an ARC + necklace (international)!

I'll likely be hanging around Twitter (@YABookQueen) on and off, so you can always find me there. I hope you are all doing well! 



1 Seriously, you should see the amount of reading I have for one of my classes: 112 poems (I will forever curse those who write ridiculously long poems), 9 novels, 10 short stories, 4 essays, 2 plays (which are thankfully both by Shakespeare), and 15 scholarly essays. Grad school keeps you busy! My school reading schedule is insane, but I'm working through it and learning so much.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

GIVEAWAY: 7 Reasons to read ATLANTIA by Ally Condie




ATLANTIA by Ally Condie
October 28th, 2014 from Dutton Juvenile
Can you hear Atlantia breathing? 

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamed of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all Rio’s hopes for the future are shattered when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected choice, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long silenced—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the corrupted system constructed to govern the Divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

7 REASONS TO READ ATLANTIA


1. FAMILY / SISTERHOOD

So many YA novels get caught up in romance, but this novel focuses on sisterhood and family. Rio spends her time trying to get Above, so she can reunite with her sister. But in the meantime, she slowly comes to know her siren aunt, Maire, and learning more about her mother's mysterious death. 

2. CHARACTERS

Rio is a siren, and an excellent narrator - fierce, determined, but cautious. Her attempts to keep her voice bland and boring do make her seem a bit off-putting, the further along the story goes, the easier it is to adore her character and realize just how much she loves her sister. True, meanwhile, is a great support system for her, and watching the slow friendship between him and Rio develop is fun to see. But Bay, Nevio, and Justus are all intriguing characters, too. 

3. WORLDBUILDING

My attempt to draw a metallic tree (without leaves)
An underwater city, metallic trees and leaves, True's mechanical fish and eels. Even the deepmarket, where people sell jars of dirt and flavored air is a fascinating place. The decorative aspects, like the gargoyles and representations of the gods of Atlantia's religious figures, are also wonderfully written. I could go on and on, because this is a fully fleshed out world, where everything is so easy to visualize.

4. SECRETS

I'd say more, but then I'd ruin all the fun. But trust me when I say there are plenty of secrets in Atlantia, and they are all intriguing and surprising.

5. PLOT TWISTS

Again, I'll keep quiet, but there are a few surprises! 

6. WRITING STYLE

Condie's writing flows with ease, and is magnificently descriptive. She has a talent for building worlds, characters, and creating memorable lines. Her writing style is slow, evocative, and captivating. 

7. YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO SET IT ASIDE

This book? It needs to be on your TBR list. Once you get into ATLANTIA, it's incredibly difficult to stop reading. 

Want a copy of your own? Enter my giveaway at the bottom of this post to win an ARC of ATLANTIA. Plus, the winner will also receive one ATLANTIA necklace!



OPEN INTERNATIONALLY
(please have your parent's permission if you're under 18)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


for more reviews, interviews, guest posts and giveaways!

September 28 – Katie (Mundie Moms) – Long Q&A
September 30 – Jen (I Read Banned Books) – Guest post
October 2 – Katie (Katie’s Book Blog) – Short Q&A
October 4 – Lea (YA Book Queen) – Review
October 6 – Taschima (Bloody Bookaholic) – Fancasting
October 8 – Jeremy (Novel Thoughts Blog) – Guest post
October 10 – Erin/ Flo (Fangirlish) – Review
October 12 – Nancy (Ravenous Reader) – Review
October 14 – Sara (Novel Novice) – Playlist
October 16 – Jess (Gone with the Words) – Short Q&A
October 18 – Rachel (Paper Cuts) – Guest post
October 20 – Georgia (Eve’s Fan Garden) – Playlist
October 22 – Gabby (Queen Ella Bee Reads) – Long Q&A
October 24 – Andrea (Reading Lark) – Review
October 26 – Tirzah (The Compulsive Reader) – Playlist


Many thanks to Penguin Teen for the ARC and the necklace + the necklace images! 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Blog Tour Review: ATLANTIA by Ally Condie

Title: Atlantia
Author: Ally Condie (@allycondie)
Published: October 28th, 2014
Series: N/A
Genre: YA Fantasy / Dystopian
POV: 1st person, present tense
Pages: 320
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publicist (for review)
Rating: The Royal Library, Top Shelf

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamed of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all Rio’s hopes for the future are shattered when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected choice, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long silenced—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the corrupted system constructed to govern the Divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

In Atlantia, Rio has one goal - to go Above. But, she resists in order to fulfill her promise to her sister Bay, who unexpectedly chooses to go Above on her own. With Bay's surprising departure for Above, Rio quickly realizes her home is hiding more secrets than she realized, and it will take everything ounce of strength and ingenuity that she has in her to reunite with her sister. Rio's a different type of heroine - she's a bit more concerned with herself and her sister. The fact that she's a siren makes it more difficult for her to really become a part of society, since she has to hide her true, powerful voice under a rather dull, uninteresting one that puts people off. In order to see her sister again, she pushes herself to her limits, and digs deeper to discover the truth about Atlantia and the world Above.

While Rio is a great protagonist, the city of Atlantia proves to be one of the most fascinating and compelling parts of the story. Condie develops Atlantia with ease, revealing this strange new setting one page at a time. It is alluring, haunting, familiar, and yet still a strange sort of place. Additionally, for those who prefer less romance and more story, you won't be disappointed. While there is a romance, it is minimal, slowly built, and not the focus of Rio's story. Instead, this is a tale of two sisters living in an underwater world built on secrets and lies. Unique and otherworldly, Atlantia is a story brimming with surprising secrets and captivating characters. This is a story you shouldn't miss.

Highlights: I loved Maire, Rio's siren aunt. Rio wasn't the character I was expecting, but I enjoyed her character even more because of her flaws and attributes. The setting of Atlantia is so well done and easy to visualize - I particularly liked the deepmarket, where people sell their wares (from flavored air to jars of dirt) and host illegal swimming races to bet on. It's a fascinating world to explore with every page. I loved the fact that this is a novel about sisterhood. There are other things going on in Rio's life, but getting Above to see her sister is the first thing on her mind. Condie's take on sirens was interesting, if a bit understated, and I loved learning about them and their abilities.  

Lowlights: I wish there had been a bit more description, especially in Atlantia and about the sirens. And more pages. Better yet, a sequel. I would love to spend more time with these characters and their world. 

Rating: The Royal Library, Top ShelfLoved, 5 out of 5. Ally Condie's Atlantia is a magnificent story that unravels at just the right the pace. The writing is vivid and rich, the world is fascinating, and Rio's story is compelling from the first page. If you're even the slightest bit curious about Atlantia, I'd recommend checking it out. 


Follow along with the #AtlantiaBelow Blog Tour
for more reviews, interviews, guest posts and giveaways!

September 28 – Katie (Mundie Moms) – Long Q&A
September 30 – Jen (I Read Banned Books) – Guest post
October 2 – Katie (Katie’s Book Blog) – Short Q&A
October 4 – Lea (YA Book Queen) – Review
October 6 – Taschima (Bloody Bookaholic) – Fancasting
October 8 – Jeremy (Novel Thoughts Blog) – Guest post
October 10 – Erin/ Flo (Fangirlish) – Review
October 12 – Nancy (Ravenous Reader) – Review
October 14 – Sara (Novel Novice) – Playlist
October 16 – Jess (Gone with the Words) – Short Q&A
October 18 – Rachel (Paper Cuts) – Guest post
October 20 – Georgia (Eve’s Fan Garden) – Playlist
October 22 – Gabby (Queen Ella Bee Reads) – Long Q&A
October 24 – Andrea (Reading Lark) – Review
October 26 – Tirzah (The Compulsive Reader) – Playlist


Enter my international giveaway below for
an ATLANTIA necklace and an ARC of ATLANTIA!

a Rafflecopter giveaway