Slipping into Autumn: My September Books

This month is going to be a little light on the reading and reviewing. I’m visiting home, so while I have a good chunk of travel time to read, I won’t have a lot of time to sit down and write my reviews. I do have a few new releases that are coming out in October that I have reviews for. I’m excited that I finally get to share them because I read them in early to mid-August.

I think the best part about going home is that I can buy books in person! I’ve bought books online here, but they tend to be expensive and they also take forever to arrive. I have some series that I’m planning to finish out and I’ll probably buy some more books as well, because I have absolutely no self-control when it comes to books.

*・゜I’m excited to get my hands on these!*・゜

I read A Darker Shade of Magic ages ago and I've been trying to get this one ever since. I want my covers to match, so I NEED this one. Desperately.

I read A Darker Shade of Magic ages ago and I’ve been trying to get this one ever since. I want my covers to match, so I NEED this one. Desperately.

Everyone says that the second and third of this series makes it, so I'm hoping that they're right.

Everyone says that the second and third of this series makes it, so I’m hoping that they’re right.

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I feel like everyone in the young adult book community finished this years ago.

*・゜I have a reading theme!*・゜

So apparently I’ve put off reading books that all deal with dreams!

Dreaming is magic in this one, and magic is forbidden. It seems like it will be an exciting mix of magic v. mechanical, so I'm pretty interested in getting into this one. We'll see if this first book makes me want to continue with the series.

Dreaming is magic in this one, and magic is forbidden. It seems like it will be an exciting mix of magic v. mechanical, so I’m pretty interested in getting into this one. We’ll see if this first book makes me want to continue with the series.

The cover is so pretty and old-fashioned looking! In this book, no one can dream! Dreams are manufactured, which is a really cool dystopian slant. And for whatever reason, once you turn 35, you're sent to live beneath the city? I'm very intrigued. I have high hopes for this one, so I really hope it's good! It just came out this year in April.

The cover is so pretty and old-fashioned looking! In this book, no one can dream! Dreams are manufactured, which is a really cool dystopian slant. And for whatever reason, once you turn 35, you’re sent to live beneath the city? I’m very intrigued. I have high hopes for this one, so I really hope it’s good! It just came out this year in April.

*・゜Upcoming Reviews*・゜

I hope that people like these upcoming October releases! I enjoyed some more than others as is usual, but all will likely find an appreciative audience.

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Released October 4th, 2016.

Released October 11th, 2016.

Released October 11th, 2016.

Released October 15th, 2016.

That’s all for now! A have some more advance reading copies that I’m very excited to check out, but they’re 2017 releases. I don’t want to read them too early. Have a great reading month!

 

[Reasons why my bookshelves are overflowing] Upcoming Fall and Winter titles to curl up with

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I decided to check out Buzz Books 2015: Young Adult Fall/Winter, a publication that has excerpts of up and coming releases from new authors and established authors. When I’m looking for a new book to read (or in this case an advance reading copy or read-to-review copy) I often struggle with deciding if it’s going to be something I enjoy. When I’m deciding on an ARC to request from NetGalley, the synopsis is obviously a huge part of my decision. Sometimes, however, the synopsis teases just enough to get me curious, but it may not be something I’d normally be keen on. This Buzz Books publication is a nice middle ground. I’m able to read a short excerpt and decide how I feel about the writing style and story without having the pressure of a full book to read. When you write, you need a hook to grab the reader. It’s what keeps them reading. These excerpts are one quick shot to show readers what kind of book it will be and if it’s worth their time. It’s only the hook.  I hated the short length of some of these (because I really wanted to finish it!) and my book list got significantly longer.

The only excerpts I skipped were those of sequels. Here are some of the novels that I want to check out on a scale of desperate-to-read-where-is-my-wallet to this-sounds-interesting/cute:

 

23569428*・゜ Legacy of Kings Eleanor Herman: Herman’s debut novel and first of the Blood of Gods and Royals series. This historical fiction is about Alexander, the heir of Macedonia and the young man who will become Alexander the Great. The excerpt is in two (although there seems to be more in the full copy) equally interesting  voices and life situations. It sounds like it will be quest based in the going-on-a-quest vein of Odysseus and Jason and the Argonauts. I love Greece’s history and Greek gods, so the combination of historical and magical is something I’m highly interested in getting my hands on. Published on August 25th, 2015.

23471772*・゜ Inherit the Stars Tessa Elwood: The only reason this isn’t first on my list is because I read it ages ago. I still can’t believe it hasn’t been published yet. I absolutely loved this book set in the future where three ruling families rule three interplanetary systems that are running out of resources for life. This forces them to enter into precarious alliances, headed by the marriage of the daughter of Fane and the son of Westlet. Romance, intrigue, and deception are stuffed into this book. I highly recommend it. My review is here.  It will be finally published on December 8th, 2015.

23395680*・゜ Illuminae Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: I’ve heard a lot about this novel, set to be the first in a trilogy. I was pretty excited to check it out because I like the mixed media look of text, transcripts, and pictures. It looks like a lot of work went into making each piece of media as legitimate looking as possible. I particularly loved the web pages. The excerpt consists of alternating transcripts of Kady and Ezra’s interviews. It  gives us a good look at who the protagonists are and how they feel after an attack on their mining town. They’re sarcastic, but under that sarcasm is the worry and confusion of not knowing what is going on. It’s clear from the excerpt and synopsis that something more is going on than fleeing from enemy ships. The excerpt made me decide to put this on my list.  Available October 20th, 2015.

The cover is so eerie!

The cover is so eerie!

*・゜ Nightfall  Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski : A horror post-apocalyptic thriller, this excerpt tells of a town where sunrise and sunset doesn’t function the same way it does in our world. Sunrise comes every 28 years, and when the sun sets, you get out. At night, the others come.  The excerpt for this novel is short, but it teased just enough of the story and mystery contained within it to get me interested. I don’t know who these “others” are, but it seems like the horror of this story will sneak up on you until you’re hiding under the covers. It sounds amazing and scary. Hopefully I’m not disappointed. It will be published on September 22nd, 2015.

23208417*・゜ This Raging Light Estelle Laure: After her dad goes crazy and her mom disappears, Lucille is suddenly in charge of the care of her life and that of her younger sister’s. This excerpt had a great voice for Lucy and kept the mystery of what happened to her father hidden. That is what I really want to know, so of course I’ll have to check it out.  This debut has a great writing style that I could see myself loving. It’s coming out on December 22nd, 2015.

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*・゜ this is where it ends Marieke Nijkamp: A debut novel that I wanted to read and was rejected. Alas, that is the way of NetGalley. This novel is told from the perspective of four teenagers who are being held hostage at a high school. This excerpt was just long enough to get a taste of the four voices and how they will react differently to being trapped in an auditorium with a shooter. Of course, the excerpt ends before the violence starts happening, but it’s long enough to make me eager for the publication date of January 5th, 2016.

22701879*・゜ Not if I See You First Eric Lindstrom: The concept in this debut novel is interesting. The protagonist, who is blind, has a great voice. I wonder how much of her sarcasm is a defense mechanism to keep people away from the things she keeps hidden, like how she feels about her dad’s death. She is just looking to be treated as a normal junior at high school, but things from her past come back to bother her when an old flame transfers to her school.  I’m not sure if I would purchase it, but if I found it at the library I’d probably check it out for some light reading between dystopian novels. It will be out on December 1st, 2015.

A beautiful cover.

A beautiful cover.

*・゜ The Thing about Jellyfish Ali Benjamin: I love the style of writing. This debut novel is clearly going to be a coming-of-age story for Suzy Swanson. Mere days ago her best friend drowned, but Suzy quickly becomes convinced that she was actually stung by a dangerous jellyfish. The excerpt was enough to show me that this novel will focus on Suzy’s obsession with this. Ali Benjamin has a beautiful way of writing. Although the protagonist is in 7th grade and not the usual age group I like reading, the style of writing is not simplified. I’m curious to see if she ages throughout the book or if she stays the same age. It’s available on September 25th, 2015.

.18692431*・゜ Everything, Everything Nicola Yoon: I like the idea of a girl who can’t go outside because she is allergic to everything outside and her books come vacuum sealed and de-germed. I’m curious how a romance can develop between her and the boy next door, but there’s only a tease of it in the excerpt. It seems like it has the potential to be a really cute story, but I won’t be able to read it until it shows up at my library. It was published on September 1st, 2015.

Other excerpts sounded interesting but I was unable to get a feel for them either because they were too short or not enough of the meat of the story was hinted at. For these, a lot of my interest in them stemmed from the initial synopsis.

23346358*・゜ The Accident Season Moira Fowley-Doyle: Published on August 18th, 2015, this novel has been getting a lot of praise. Cara, the protagonist, and her family are prone to accidents in October. Unnaturally prone. Sometimes it’s annoying things, like cuts and bruises. Other times it causes deaths of the people involved, like the year her father died. I’m really curious about the how and why of the accident season, but that wasn’t touched on in this excerpt.  Unfortunately, it was too short for me to decide how I felt about the writing style, but I will likely check this out in the future.

17831753*・゜ A History of Glitter and Blood Hannah Moskowitz: This one was odd for me. I’ve had this on my to-read list for awhile, back when I requested and was rejected for an ARC. It may have actually been a blessing in disguise. Although I’m still really interested in the story that is described in the synopsis, the writing style just didn’t really do it for me. The desire to read the story is at odds with how clunky and all over the place the writing is. Reviewers say that this is on purpose, that this story is one of those where a character is actually the author of the book you are reading, but it isn’t clear enough early on. The moments where this happen only make the actual author look like a poor writer, which I assume was not the intention at all. I’m not sure if I would have been able to finish reading the book in time for a deadline.  Another thing that’s strange to me is that this is under young adult. The semi-explicit sexual contents even in the short excerpt makes me think it should have been labeled as a new adult novel. I’ll check this out at the library, but I probably won’t buy this unless it really hooks me later. It came out on August 25th, 2015

24187925*・゜ These Shallow Graves: Although the excerpt started out strongly in a graveyard where our protagonist is doing questionable rooting around, it ended up at a boarding school in Connecticut where the standard girls-training-to-be-wives happened. It was recommended for fans of Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty, and I can see where that blurb comes from. Perhaps it would be interesting, but the excerpt is nothing to get excited about. It will be available on October 27th, 2015.

All in all, I’m quite excited for a lot of the things that are going to be published soon. My reading list will never end, and that’s okay.

Buzz Books was provided by NetGalley. 

[The beauty and danger of advance reading copies]

I tend to be an obsessive reader. From a young age I’ve loved going to libraries. My mom would bring us to the library in town where shelves-upon-shelves of easy chapter books and children’s books existed. While my brothers browsed the books with pictures and simple words, I’d scan the shelves for one of The Magic Tree House books that I hadn’t yet read.  When my school sent us home with Scholastic book catalogues I’d read through the pages and circle the many I wanted, begging my mom to let me join the  Boxcar Children and Baby-Sitter’s Little Sister book clubs they offered. As I got older I was able to walk the few blocks to the library myself and I’d stagger home with as many as I could carry, often from the Dinotopia and Animorphs series. I devoured book after book, discovering new loves like the Harry Potter series and Elizabeth I, one of the Royal Diaries series. (My love of England and interest in Elizabeth the First can probably be traced back to this book. )  For Christmas, all I asked for were books and I got them.

Moving to England for a brief time was a dream. Walking the streets were so many of my favorite books were set was something I had desired since I had first read them. Shopping in London bookstores for the British English editions of Harry Potter and antique copies of Shakespeare was incredibly fun. I have a passion for finding books that are beautifully bound with gilt edged pages, and I came away with quite a haul. My entire carry-on bag was full of books.  I am quite aware that I have a purchasing problem, but I love the feel of a physical book in my hands–the new book smell, the smooth and creamy pages, the crisp noise of the first time you open a hardcover book. I just can’t resist them. With the purchase of a Kindle, I made the reluctant move to buying more ebooks because I couldn’t bring my physical copies when I moved abroad. I’m still able to visit my library through their growing ebook selection, but it’s not quite the same as walking the rows and scanning the names of books for one that screams out for me to read it. Scrolling past titles on my brightly lit computer screen just doesn’t have the same sense of wonder.

I’ve found this wonder in an unexpected place. When I worked at a bookstore I was able to read advance reading copies on break. The first one I ever read, The Fifth Wave, made me want to start a book blog. Unfortunately, I was a bit preoccupied with the move abroad and had to put it on the back burner. It’s been on the back burner for several years, but recently I’ve made it a point to become serious about the things that are important to me. When I first started, I struggled with finding things that were new. Of course, I love reading anything, but people already had formed opinions on a lot of the things that I was reviewing because they’ve been published for several years. Other book bloggers I follow were reading books that sounded fascinating and they were newly published or even advance reading copies.  I want to provide reading advice to people who are looking for a new book to read. I wasn’t able to do this if I only reviewed books that have been out for years.  After doing some research which involved a lot of book post stalking, I learned about places like NetGalley.

NetGalley is a wonderful place. Book bloggers are able to check out upcoming titles from many different publishers. By allowing people to read these advance reading copies, publishers are able to get a look at how the book may do once it’s published. And authors get a little boost before their book comes out. As an aspiring author, I know how important readers and book reviews are to a new book. By writing about upcoming and recently published books, I hope that I’m garnering some interest in what is being published in the vast world of young adult and new adult fiction. That is the beauty of reading these brand-spanking new titles. The danger, of course, goes back to my obsessive nature. It never is a problem to have too many books, but the problem is: I want them all. Good thing I’m a fast reader!

Coming up:

25722504Angelstone: Second in the Dark Angel series, Hanna Peach was kind enough to let me read her series and review them. This is ongoing. I really like the take of the Angels and Demons that she portrays in its pages. Dark Angel deals with a prophecy that connects Heaven, Hell, the angels, the demons, and the humans caught between both worlds.

 

 

Currently reading:

24488627Noir: Second in the Illumination Paradox series, Noir also comes quick on the heels of Lumière. I finished up my review and discovered that the second was out. Thanks to NetGalley, Noir quickly moved up my reading list. These novels are set in a world where the shadows reign and steam punk devices make life a little more interesting–most of the time. I love the Victorian feel and the characters are very vivid. The ebook version was only recently published on August 18th and the paperback and audio versions are coming out September 22nd of this year.

 

Things I’m excited about:

25792851Angelsong: The next in the Dark Angel series

 

 

 

 

24397041Hunter by Mercedes Lackey: This one. I requested it ages ago and it took so long to get any sort of notification from the publisher that I assumed I hadn’t been approved. I assumed wrong. Very excited to read this one. The cover is really neat looking and the story promises to be interesting. Monsters have taken up residence in our world, and the people who survived the initial attacks have to live in communities that are protected from them. There are teenagers called Hunters who are charged with protecting citizens, but it becomes clear that the better they are at protecting, the more famous they become and the more scrutiny they fall under. It sounds like a mix between Attack on Titan and the television element of The Hunger Games. I’m so glad to have been approved. Hunter will be available on September 1st.