Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Queen's Library (45): December & January Books

Purchased & Gifted

I'm only buying books for my thesis right now, so I purchased these two:


Thesis research! It's bound to be intriguing. 

But, I was gifted some pretty fabulous YA books:

WINGER (I can finally finish it!)
SERAPHINA (heard great things about it)
THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER (autographed & personalized!!)
ALONG FOR THE RIDE (autographed & personalized!)
BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE (autographed & personalized!!!)
THE BONE SEASON (so I bought this one, BUT it was only $3.99 on B&N).

My folks are officially the best for surprising me with such awesome belated Christmas presents! I still cannot believe I now own autographed & personalized books by Sarah Dessen & Maggie Stiefvater! *hugs all the books*

For Review


Huge thanks to Macmillan / Netgalley, and HarperTeen! I (and apparently, Loki) cannot wait to read and review these!

Weekly Recommendation

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (157): SAINT ANYTHING

WOW is hosted by Breaking the Spine

SAINT ANYTHING by Sarah Dessen
May 5th 2015 from Viking Juvenile

Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.

I've been a Dessen fan since I was a teenager, so I think it's safe to say I'm incredibly excited for this novel! It sounds a bit different from her other books, and I'm sure it will be wonderful. Is it May yet? *glares at calendar*

What are you waiting on?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Blog Tour: Tuck Everlasting

Title: Tuck Everlasting
Author: Natalie Babbitt
Published: January 20th, 2015
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux BYR
Ages: 10 – 14
Grades: 4 – 8
Pages: 192

Blessed with—or doomed to—eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less of a blessing than it might seem. Complications arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.

A brand-new introduction from Gregory Maguire, the author of Wicked, and additional bonus materials make this special edition of Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting a must-have for lovers of the book and a great way to introduce a new generation to a classic.

The 40th anniversary edition of TUCK EVERLASTING is on sale now, and the anniversary edition includes a foreword from Wicked author Gregory Maguire.

What if you could live forever?

For this blog tour, every blogger has been asked to answer the above question, and for me, it brings to mind quite a few interesting ideas. The idea of living forever is an incredibly romantic notion. Think about it, take a moment and just imagine all the things you could do if you didn't have to worry about time or getting sick.

If I could live forever, I'd... all of the books I never have time for. When you have forever, you can basically read everything. 

...learn something helpful and useful. Exactly what useful and helpful thing, I have no idea. But with so much time, I'd hope to figure out something to make my time meaningful.  

...probably watch too many movies, TV Shows...*shrugs*

...go skydiving, climb a ridiculously tall mountain, go see an active volcano up close, or do something I would normally consider completely terrifying and slightly reckless. I'd take risks I normally would never even consider. across the world. All across the US, Europe, Africa, Antarctica, South America, I'd go everywhere and anywhere. I would see every single place I could find and meet as many new people as possible. 

...learn to speak and read in multiple languages. Because wouldn't it be awesome to speak French one minute, German the next, Japanese, Greek, Latin...I'd love learn them all! 

...learn something crafty. Maybe more than one crafty hobby. I'm not nearly crafty enough, and with that much time on my hands, I'd have no excuse. 

...ultimately, decide it wasn't worth it.  I'd miss my loved ones too much. While being mortal can sometimes be scary when you think about it, knowing tomorrow is never guaranteed keeps you living to the fullest. If I was immortal, I'd have time to do a lot of great things, but I'm not sure if I would appreciate them as much as I otherwise would. Life is most fulfilling when you live it to the fullest once. Forever, however, is too long of a time to live. I think a life lived forever would only bring pain and regret, and I would never want to live a life like that.


Thanks to Mary and Macmillan, I have one paperback copy of Tuck Everlasting and one super special 40th anniversary hardcover edition of Tuck Everlasting that I would like to pass along to two of my readers. Trust me, this book is outstanding, and you should add it to your to-be-read lists.

US ONLY. Enter using the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the rest of the Tuck Everlasting blog tour here, and share your own answer to What if you could live forever on social media using #Tuck40th

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (156): ROYAL WEDDING

WOW is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot 
The Princess Diaries #11
June 2nd 2015 from William Morrow & Company

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Princess Diaries series, comes the very first adult installment, which follows Princess Mia and her Prince Charming as they plan their fairy tale wedding--but a few poisoned apples could turn this happily-ever-after into a royal nightmare.

For Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity, what with living in New York City, running her new teen community center, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements. And speaking of engagements. Mia's gorgeous longtime boyfriend Michael managed to clear both their schedules just long enough for an exotic (and very private) Caribbean island interlude where he popped the question! Of course Mia didn't need to consult her diary to know that her answer was a royal oui.

But now Mia has a scandal of majestic proportions to contend with: Her grandmother's leaked "fake" wedding plans to the press that could cause even normally calm Michael to become a runaway groom. Worse, a scheming politico is trying to force Mia's father from the throne, all because of a royal secret that could leave Genovia without a monarch. Can Mia prove to everyone--especially herself--that she's not only ready to wed, but ready to rule as well?

I basically grew up reading a handful of authors, and Meg Cabot was one of the few I would read all the time. The Princess Diaries was probably the book that introduced me to YA lit. So, I'm incredibly excited that Cabot's writing another Princess Diaries novel! Mia as an adult! This should be interesting :)

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Top Ten Audiobooks I Want to Listen to This Year

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

1. SINNER: I recently finished the audiobook versions of SHIVER, LINGER, and FOREVER, so I know that this book is going to be excellent. I started it recently, and am loving it so far (such fantastic narrators).

2. PRINCESS OF THORNS: The story sounds great, and the narrator is supposed to be excellent. I have the kindle version, but I hope I can get my hands on the audio instead.

3. FOUR: I've already heard the first story, and I can't wait to get the other three from the library.

4. VERONICA MARS: MR. KISS AND TELL: A Veronica Mars story narrated by Kristen Bell. YOU CAN'T GO WRONG. The first book on audio was great, so I'm sure this will be wonderful too.

5. THE CONSPIRACY OF US: This story sounds fascinating. Definitely on my wishlist!

6. THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER: I keep hearing how incredible this novel is, and I loved the movie, so I'm hoping to start this one soon.

7. DARK TRIUMPH: I loved the GRAVE MERCY audiobook, so I'm curious to see how the sequel is.

8. MORTAL HEART: Same as above!

9. HOW TO SAVE A LIFE: I started this one a couple days ago, and am liking it so far. I can see why so many readers like this author's work.

10. PERCY JACKSON'S GREEK GODS: Already purchased, just waiting for enough free time to start listening!

Do you have any audiobook recommendations? What audiobook do you want to listen to this year? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Highlights / Lowlights: RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard (@VictoriaAveyard)
Published: February 10th, 2015
Series: Red Queen #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
POV: 1st person
Pages: 400
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: electronic ARC
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: The Royal Library, Middle Shelf

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood—those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own—an ability she didn't know she had. Except . . . her blood is Red.

To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard—the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince—and Mare against her own heart.

From debut author Victoria Aveyard comes a lush, vivid fantasy series where loyalty and desire can tear you apart and the only certainty is betrayal.

Highlights:1 It's refreshing to read a book where romance is barely on the protagonist's mind. Instead, in Red QueenMare simply wants to live and survive. As a character, Mare is imperfectly intriguing. Nothing about a royal's world comes easily to Mare, and every single day is a struggle filled with mistakes, missteps, and if she's lucky, the correct move. Mare's life becomes a game of chess, where if she loses, she dies. Aveyard develops this dangerous world through Mare's eyes, displaying the slums at their worst and the royals at their most excessive. Throw in some epic, X-Men-like supernatural abilities and Red Queen easily manages to become a highly entertaining story. Simply put, this story is exciting, thrilling, and difficult to set aside. 

Lowlights: Aveyard, you killed my favorite side characters and significantly injured another favorite side character in the beginning of the novel2. On another note, a few aspects were incredibly predictable and familiar regarding a few characters and "surprise" moments in the story, but I tend to guess plot twists early on. 

Rating: The Royal Library, Middle Shelf: Highly Enjoyed, 4+ out of 5. Deadly, surprising, and completely captivating, Red Queen is a thrilling read that will keep you turning the pages. I recommend checking it out, because this is one outstanding story. 

1 Also a highlight, the Obi-Wan Kenobi line. I hope it stays in the finished book.
2 WHY ARE YOU SO CRUEL, AVEYARD?! It's like the YA version of Game of Thrones, where everyone I love dies or becomes seriously injured....I'm kind of afraid to care about these characters.

I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher for review consideration. 
This is no way affected my opinion of the novel. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Random Giveaway!

Random giveaway! Since funds are a bit tight, winner's will choose from the (completely wonderful) paperback novels listed below (to be ordered from Amazon or the Book Depository, depending on where the winner lives). 

THREE WINNERS will each receive ONE paperback novel

(winner's choice from the novels listed above)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't Get To

Hosted by the lovely folks at The Broke and the Bookish

1.  DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS: Along with the sequel, since I still need to read that...


3.  RAGING STAR: Same as above, again. WHY CAN'T I FINISH SERIES?!

4.  STRANGE AND EVER AFTER: Again, with the series issue. But I have a good excuse, because someone stole books 2 and 3 from my backpack only hours after I purchased them (partially my fault, for not storing them in my car before class...and for thinking I could trust my classmates with my bag for five minutes). 

5.  HEIR OF FIRE: I had planned to read this during my winter break, but some health issues made reading impossible (thank goodness I had audiobooks and music to keep me occupied). Hopefully I'll get to it soon!

6.  SINNER: I came so close, but I didn't finish the audiobook of FOREVER in time to start SINNER in 2014. This year, however, I will get to it! 
7.  RED RISING: So much hype, and I wanted to read it, but somehow it fell to the side of my TBR again and again.  

8.  BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE: I think it's a good thing I didn't get to it. The longer I wait to read book 3, the less time I have to wait for book 4. 

9.  I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN: I loved JN's debut, I'm so afraid this book won't live up to my expectations! I'll get to it this year though. 

10.  THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY: I kept putting this off because LHA books tend to be either emotionally difficult reads or a slight disappointment. Either way, I need to be in the right mood when I start this book. 

What books did you miss out on reading last year?