Upcoming Releases: June 2019

Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson (June 4) | GR

42201395

Elisabeth dreams of being a warden at one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries – those tasked with protecting the kingdom from magical grimoires which have the potential to transform into monsters. When an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire, Elisabeth is implicated and sent to the capital to face justice. Left with no one to turn to, she finds an unexpected ally in the mysterious sorcerer, Nathaniel Thorn. As Elisabeth’s alliance with Nathaniel grows, she finds herself questioning everything she’s been taught about the evil of sorcerers, the Great Libraries, and herself, and soon becomes entangled in a conspiracy that could mean not only the end of the libraries but the world.


Magic for Liars – Sarah Gailey (June 4th) | GR

41555947

Ivy Gamble has never wanted to be magic. She is perfectly happy with her life—she has an almost-sustainable career as a private investigator, and an empty apartment, and a slight drinking problem. It’s a great life and she doesn’t wish she was like her estranged sister, the magically gifted professor Tabitha. But when Ivy is hired to investigate the gruesome murder of a faculty member at Tabitha’s private academy, the stalwart detective starts to lose herself in the case, the life she could have had, and the answer to the mystery that seems just out of her reach.


When the Light Went Out – Bridget Morissey (June 4th) | GR

36541405

It’s been five years since Marley Bricket died by accidental gunshot. On the night of the annual memorial, Olivia Stanton, the only witness to Marley’s death, gets an unexpected visitor in the form of Nick Cline. He’s the boy who pulled the trigger on what he didn’t know was a loaded gun. Since then, nothing in the quiet desert town of Cadence, California has ever been the same.

Nick’s surprise reappearance puts all the Kids of Albany Lane in one place for the first time since Marley died. The once-inseparable group of neighborhood friends, formerly led by Marley herself, has disbanded. But when Olivia discovers a scavenger hunt orchestrated by Marley before she died, the group must come together again to complete it, reopening old wounds and unearthing new questions about what really happened. Most importantly, did Marley know the gun was loaded?


Ghosts of the Shadow Market – Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson , Sarah Rees Brennan, Robin Wasserman , Kelly Link (June 4th) | GR

36314220

The Shadow Market is a meeting point for faeries, werewolves, warlocks and vampires. Downworlders buy and sell magical objects, make dark bargains, and whisper secrets. Through two centuries, Brother Zachariah has been a frequent visitor. As a Silent Brother, he is sworn keeper of Nephilim laws and lore. But once he was a Shadowhunter called Jem Carstairs, and his love, then and always, is the warlock Tessa Gray.

Follow Brother Zachariah and see, against the backdrop of the Shadow Market’s dark dealings and festive celebrations, Anna Lightwood’s first romance, Matthew Fairchild’s great sin and Tessa Gray plunged into a world war. Valentine Morgenstern buys a soul at the Market and a young Jace Wayland’s soul finds safe harbor. In the Market is hidden a lost heir and a beloved ghost, and no one can save you once you have traded away your heart. Not even Brother Zachariah…


The Rest of the Story – Sarah Dessen (June 4th) | GR

42245770

Emma doesn’t remember a lot about her mother, who died when she was ten. But she does remember the stories she told her about North Lake, where she grew up. Now it’s just Emma and her dad, until Emma is unexpectedly sent to spend the summer with her mother’s family who she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl.

When Emma arrives at North Lake, she realizes there are actually two very different communities there. Her mother grew up in working class North Lake, while her dad spent summers in the wealthier Lake North resort. The more time Emma spends there, the more it starts to feel like she is divided into two people as well. Then there’s Roo, the boy who was her very best friend when she was little and who holds the key to her family’s history. It’s hard not to get caught up in the magic of North Lake and for Emma, it’s like a whole new world is opening up to her.

But when it’s time to go home, which side of her will win out?


Like a Love Story – Abdi Nazemian (June 4) | GR

40190305

It’s 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing.

Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother. He’s terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he’s gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media’s images of men dying of AIDS.

Judy is an aspiring fashion designer who worships her uncle Stephen, a gay man with AIDS who devotes his time to activism as a member of ACT UP. Judy has never imagined finding romance…until she falls for Reza and they start dating.

Art is Judy’s best friend, their school’s only out and proud teen. He’ll never be who his conservative parents want him to be, so he rebels by documenting the AIDS crisis through his photographs.

As Reza and Art grow closer, Reza struggles to find a way out of his deception that won’t break Judy’s heart–and destroy the most meaningful friendship he’s ever known.


Recursion – Blake Crouch (June 11th) | GR

42046112

NYC cop Barry Sutton has been tasked with looking into the devestating new phenomenon dubbed False Memory Syndrome – a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. Neuroscientist Helena Smith has devoted her life to creating a technology that will not only preserve memories but allow people to relive them.

As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it. But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them? 


The Grief Keeper – Alexandra Villasante (June 11th) | GR

34522727

Seventeen-year-old Marisol has always dreamed of being American. What she never pictured was fleeing her home in El Salvador under threat of death and stealing across the US border as “an illegal”. After her brother is murdered, her mother goes into hiding, and her younger sister, Gabi’s, life is placed in jeopardy, she’s left with no choice but to attempt to cross the border. But when Marisol and Gabi are caught, Marisol jumps at an unusual opportunity to stay in the US – become a grief keeper. Tasked with taking the grief of another into your body, it’s a risky and experimental study, but Marisol will do whatever she can to protect her sister. She just never expected to fall in love.


Dev1at3 (Lifel1k3 2#)- Jay Kristoff (June 25th) | GR

40177770

Lemon Fresh has seen better days. Separated from Ezekiel and Cricket, she’s being hunted by corporate operatives set on using her ability to manipulate electricity as a weapon. She soon finds herself falling in with a band of fellow deviates led by a figure known as the Major who may have info about her past.

Meanwhile, Cricket falls into the possession of the puritanical Brotherhood, a religious cult set for a collision with the Major and his band. Searching for Lemon, Ezekiel finds a strange ally in an old enemy, and uncovers a plot that may see him reunited with Ana.

And inside Babel, a remade Eve hatches a plan to bring an end to the world.


Call it What You Want – Brigid Kemmerer (June 25th) | GR

40653162

When Rob’s dad is caught embezzling funds from the town, Rob goes from popular to outcast. Worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone sees Maegan as an overachiever, but she has secrets of her own. When her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a project, they’re reluctant to let anyone past their walls. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan t fix his father’s mistakes, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship…

And there’s a snapshot of the month ahead. What new releases are you planning on snapping up this month?

Advertisements

De-Cluttering: Culling the Hell Out of my Goodreads To-Read Shelf

So. This week, I took a quick glance at my Goodreads to-read shelf and low and behold, it’s siting at 122. One-hundred-and-twenty-two books. Like, WHAT. How in the good lord of all things books did this happen? There cannot seriously be 122 books that I am ridiculously keen to read. I’m sure there are other people out there with shelves more than three times that big, but for me, that number is looking just a litttttttllleee bit ridiculous. And, as you can tell from the title of this post, that means it’s time for a….CULL. Basically, may the odds be ever in your favour (aka. may you have a blurb that still holds some interest for me and an average star rating that doesn’t resemble a train wreck).

First up, I think I’ll be taking a page out of the book of some other bloggers by separating out unreleased books from my to-read shelf into a separate shelf all on their own. This should cut down the number a bit.

…okay, it cut 21. Just 21. Damn it.

Well, I guess we better get stuck in then. This list ain’t going to reduce itself. Time to say goodbye to…

Three Dark Crowns – Kendare Blake

28374007

I was pretty keen to read this once upon a time but since then I’ve increasingly lost interest. Based on the things I’ve heard about it and the sequels since, I get the feeling I’ll find it another average and forgettable read. I wanted political intrigue, backstabbing, awesome magic, and family drama, but it seems super slow and about 80% romance. *sigh*.

All the Crooked Saints – Maggie Stiefvater

36321633

I think I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I’m not much of a fan of Maggie’s books. They’re not bad, but I always find myself extremely indifferent to them. I’ll willingly admit that I bought this one because I was 1) excited to find a release out in Australia before the US, (b) it has a stunningly colourful cover, and 3) I was trying to push myself to love Maggie’s books as much as everyone else does. I honestly have no desire to read this so I think it’s time to cut it (& donate the physical copy).

Truly, Madly, Guilty – Liane Moriarty

29616384

I bought this one at the peak of the Big Little Lies craze. I honestly thought I wanted to read it, but now, nope. Not in the slightest. Having read reviews of it recently, people report that it’s extremely slow, the big reveal is highly disappointing, and that the characters aren’t interesting enough to make you want to keep going to the end. Basically, I’m out. Cull & donate.

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy – Mackenzi Lee

37880094

Yes, I know. I’m sorry, okay? I liked the first book, really I did. It was fun and the characters were cute, but there were also moments of drag and frustration. I just don’t feel at all compelled to read the sequel anymore. I can’t explain it. I mean, it’s got kick-ass Felicity, more European adventures, pirates, and the reviews are good! AND YET. No motivation for some time now. *sigh* Please don’t hurt me. Cull.

From Twinkle with Love – Sandhya Menon

40312693

I’ve mentioned in the past that I wasn’t that keen on Menon’s first book, When Dimple Met Rishi. Still, I added this one to my TBR, drawn in by the idea of another diverse read and a super cute cover. Since then, the book has ended up with a 3.66 average GR rating and a few of the things I’ve heard about it haven’t exactly floated my boat – an annoying protagonist, a love square, reliance on tropes, letter style format, and that the book reads quite young. I think I’ll give it a miss.

An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason – Virginia Boecker

37678396

I think I may have added this book on a whim after seeing it pop up quite a few times, buzz words lighting up my brain – assassins, historical, theatre, enemies to lovers. Nowadays, I’m like, it looks okay but I feel as though I’m once again setting myself up for an average, forgettable read. The average rating is at 3.69 – not awful but not amazing either. So while this would probably be a decent book, I think I’ll pass for now.

The Crowns of Croswald – D.E. Night

34944590

This is another book that’s fallen victim to time. The excitement and motivation was there once but it’s slowly up and disappeared. Looking at TCoC now, there are a few things that send up warnings. First, the book has been shelved as both middle grade and YA by readers. I’m not much of a MG reader so the fact that this either is or reads like MG, turns me off a bit. Second, it’s less than 300 pages. For fantasy that does make me worry about depth of story and characters. Either way, it’s time to let go.

The Eye of the World – Robert Jordan

11203854

This book has been on my physical and virtual TBR since about 2014 and I’m still yet to pick it up. I think it’s the fact that it’s an enormous book and the beginning of an ENORMOUS series. I also happened to buy this before I heard that Jordan was considered very similar to Tolkien, an author who’s style I wasn’t so big on. The fact that the series supposedly declines in quality further down the track also isn’t much of an encouraging factor. I feel like one day I’ll read it (when I have plenty of time and patience), but I don’t see it happening for while. Until then, it’s time to take it off.

The Scorpio Races – Maggie Stiefvater

10626594

Insert the same reasons here as for All the Crooked Saints. I’ve been wanting to read The Scorpio Races for a long time and have almost bought it quite a few times now. But, I feel like the combination of my lack of enthusiasm for Maggie’s books and that I’ve heard this book isn’t as action packed as I was hoping, is sending me reaching for the x button. I think I have to give this one a miss for now.

The Disasters – M. K. England

32469736

I know why I added this one – it sounded vaguely similar to Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman which I am dying to get my hands on next month. I think I was maybe trying to find a way to sate my excitement? Also, the cover is cool and purple. I’ve heard since that the majority of the book doesn’t actually take place in space, the plot is a bit repetitive and superficial, and that the characters aren’t given enough depth. Who knows, I may completely change my mind but for now, goodbye.

Phew. Things are looking much healthier than they were before. This is manageable. I can deal with this. I’m sure there’s probably more I could cull but I’m constantly worried I’m going to get rid of something that I’ll actually end up wanting to read and enjoying later on. Ugh. This will do for now.

How many books are currently on your Goodreads To-Read Shelf? Is it tightly regulated or getting a bit out of control? (MAKE ME FEEL BETTER ABOUT MYSELF).

Have you read any of these books? Did I make the wrong decision? *panics & flails*

April TBR: OWLs Magical Readathon 2019

Some of you may remember that last year I took part in both the OWLs and NEWTs magical readathons hosted by the lovely G at Book Roast over on Booktube. Just like G, I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and although I don’t participate in many readathons, I can’t resist doing these ones. This year G has gone all out and has written up an entire booklet devoted to wizarding careers. Each have their own OWLs and NEWTs subject requirements which adds a fun, extra layer to the whole readathon experience.

If you’re interested in taking part, you can find the full list of subject prompts for the readathon here, and the book of wizard world careers here (it looks absolutely amazing!)

MY WIZARD CAREER

Picking a career for this year’s readathons has been a challenge! There’s just so many fabulous sounding professions, but of course, I have to think about what I’m reasonably capable of achieving. I can usually manage about 6 books a month without any hectic scrambling so I’ve got two professions in mind depending on how I end up tracking.

1) Auror – This only requires 5 subjects and sounds right up my alley if I were to actually be a part of the wizarding world.

2) Hogwarts Professor – This career requires 7 subjects and again, seems like something suited to me. If I’m progressing well with the number of books for the month, I’ll swap over to this instead as the subjects are highly flexible and allow for a cross over with the Auror requirements.

PRIORITY TBR

Now onto my TBR for the month. For the Auror career, I’m placing high priority on Defence Against the Dark Arts, Charms, Herbology, Potions and Transfiguration. I’ve added books for some of the other prompts just in case I have extra time and am able to move up to Hogwarts Professor. If so, my specialty subject will be Charms because teaching kids to levitate stuff sounds like fun.

Defence Against the Dark Arts

Reducto – Book or Series Starting with ‘R’

Radio Silence – Alice Oseman

40119231

When I first saw this prompt, I thought it’d be one of the easiest ones on the list. How wrong I was. Turns out, R isn’t as popular a letter for titles as I thought. Not wanting to do a reread just for the sake of it, I ended up going to the bookstore and hurrah! I spotted Radio Silence. I’ve been wanting to read one of Alice Oseman’s books and now I have the perfect opportunity. This book has had some great reviews from my Goodreads buddies so I’m really looking forward to it!

Transfiguration

Sprayed Edges or a Red Cover

Saga, Vol. 2 – Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

17131869

I read the first volume in the Saga series as part of a previous magical readathon and really enjoyed it. I ended up buying the next two volumes shortly after but, as usual, never got around to reading them. These are perfect for bulking up your readathon results so I’m super glad one of the prompts fit. Time to get back to Marko, Alana & Hazel’s adventures.

Potions

Next Ingredient – A Sequel

City of Lost Souls (Mortal Instruments 5#) – Cassandra Clare

Image result for city of lost souls aus cover

Time to press on with my The Mortal Instruments read/re-read. After getting through CoFA, I’m now finally onto a book I haven’t read. I’m not sure how keen I am though. My sister didn’t exactly give CoLS a glowing review and I am beyond over Jace and Clary’s melodrama, but for Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabel, I’ll push through. Well, that and because, as I’ve said many times before, I WANT TO READ THE DAMN DARK ARTIFICES like everyone else on the planet.

Herbology

A Plant on the Cover

It Ends with Us – Colleen Hoover

27362503

Thank god, finally a prompt that works for one of the prioritised books on my existing TBR! As you can see, this book features a bunch of crushed flowers on the cover so that works for the prompt. I featured this book on my recent Top 10 Tuesday Autumn TBR post so I really hope I actually get to it (outlook seems good). As I’ve mentioned, it’s supposed to be a good romance read with a decent amount of substance and emotion. It’s not overly long either which is great for a readathon.

Charms

Age Line – An Adult Book

Middlegame – Seanan McGuire

35965482

I was granted this ARC a little while ago now but as we were told not to publish reviews until at least 2 weeks before release (which is in May) I’ve been holding off. With only about a month to go now, I think it’s time to get stuck in. However, I’m a little worried about the fact it’s over 500 pages long and that it may hold me up a bit. Then again, it’ll be an e-read, so maybe it will be okay. The vague (non-full review) comments on this book have been great, meaning hopefully it’ll be so good that I simply race through in the blink of an eye!

BONUS TBR

Arithmancy

Work Written By More than One Author

Always Never Yours – Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka

34092885

Another book from my existing TBR, yay! That means it’s cute contemporary time. As I mentioned in my Autumn TBR Top 10, I’m super keen to read this sweet, fluffy read. And fitting with the prompt, it’s written by two authors – a husband and wife, so adorable. I think this’ll be a quick, easy read which should help maintain my momentum, especially towards the end of the month.

Muggle Studies

A Contemporary

What If It’s Us – Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

39704614

As I’ve mentioned a million zillion times, I’ve been putting this book off for a ages so it’s about time I finally read it. However, this subject isn’t a priority for me with my chosen career so it’s unlikely I’ll get this far. Poor What If It’s Us, it’s always so neglected. I’ll get to you eventually, I promiiiissseeee!!!

History of Magic

Published at least 10 years ago

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

832792

I was originally torn as to which King book I wanted to do for this one, but having finally decided to try my hand at an audiobook and give myself something to listen to when I go for walks, I downloaded Pet Sematary. I have no idea if I’m capable of listening to the entire thing during the month (it’s like 15 1/2 hours?). At least this one isn’t an essential subject and regardless of when I finish, if I feel like watching the new adaptation (I don’t usually do scary movies but can’t resist King adaptations) I’ll be ready for it.

Ancient Runes

A Retelling

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein – Kiersten White

38255342

Annoyingly, I read the only retelling I had on my purchased TBR in March (A Curse so Dark and Lonely) right before I saw the prompts for the readathon. Now, of course, I have to buy one if I do this prompt. At this point, it’s looking like Elizabeth Frankenstein will be my pick because I’ve been thinking about reading it for a while, it’s short, and, for something different, it’s not a fairy tale retelling. It also looks a tad dark which you guys know I’m always drawn to.

And that’s my ambitious TBR for April 2019! I’m hoping that if I put in a little extra time here and there, more than I usually do, I’ll end up with a good result much like I did in 2018.

Are any of you taking part in the OWLs 2019 readathon? If so, what profession are you aiming for?

New Releases to Get Excited About: April ’19 Edition

April 2nd

Wicked Saints – Emily A. Duncan: In a Polish inspired fantasy world, a girl with the power to hear the voices of the gods joins forces with a defector and a group of rebels to infiltrate the palace, assassinate the king and end a long standing war.

The Devouring Gray – Christine Herman: The town of Fourpaths, NY is hunted by a mysterious beast. It’s people are protected by the descendants of the town’s original founders using special powers passed down through the bloodlines. But with the monster growing stronger, can they come together to save everyone?

You’d Be Mine – Erin Hahn: Heir to a country music legacy, Annie is in high demand by every major music label. But after her parent’s deaths, the last thing she wants is to be in the spotlight. Superstar, Clay Coolidge, is in a tough position, sign Annie to the label or get dropped. To his surprise, Annie agrees to go on tour with him, but will she be able to get past her personal issues and see behind his bad boy persona?

The Princess and the Fangirl – Ashley Poston: Imogen is a huge Starfield fan and Jessica is the actress who plays her favourite character, Princess Amara. After meeting each other at a convention, the two realise they look exactly alike. So, when the script for the newest Starfield film is leaked and all signs point to Jess, the girls agree to work together and trade places to track down the person responsible.

We Rule the Night – Claire Eliza Bartlett: Two girls are offered a way out of punishment for their respective crimes by joining a special women’s military flight unit designed to undertake deadly missions by night. But they’ll have to get over their dislike of one another to work together in the cockpit and survive the enemy.

Defy Me (Shatter Me 5#) – Tahereh Mafi: The latest in the bestselling Shatter Me series. Juliette continues to deal with the challenges of being Supreme Commander of North America and is left reeling when Warner reveals some secrets that could change everything.

Since We Last Spoke – Brenda Rufener: Aggi and Max were happily in love until both their older siblings suddenly died in a car accident. After a year of silence and restraining orders between their families, the teens reunite at a house party and start to rebuilt their relationship. But will this reconciliation help bring their families back together or break what’s left of them?

Defy the Fates (Constellation 3#) – Claudia Gray: Hunted, Abel is desperate to save Noemi, but first he must escape the Genesis authorities. Alone, Noemi searches for her place in the universe after being turned into a human-mech hybrid. Meanwhile, the countdown is on to the final battle between Earth and the Colonies, and the two of them may have the power to change the galaxy.

April 4th

The Boy Who Steals Houses – C. G. Drews: Abandoned by his relatives, Sam provides for himself and his autistic brother, Avery, by breaking into empty houses. One day, he’s caught out when a family returns home. But when each of the teens mistake him for a friend of their sibling, Sam soon gets caught up in, and falls in love with, their crazy, wonderful antics.

April 9th

Descendant of the Crane – Joan He: A Chinese inspired fantasy. After the death of her father, Princess Hesina becomes the ruler of an unstable kingdom. Whilst attempting to avert war and manage her new advisers, she enlists the help of a soothsayer and a convicted criminal to help track down her father’s killer.

How to Make Friends with the Dark – Kathleen Glasgow: It’s always been Tiger and her mother against the world. But when tragedy strikes, she’s left completely alone. Placed into the foster system and bounced from place to place, Tiger is forced to comes to terms with her new life whilst processing her crippling grief.

The Red Scrolls of Magic – Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu: Shadowhunter Alec Lightwood and his boyfriend/warlock, Magnus Bane, take a trip to Europe. They quickly find that everything starts to go wrong when they come across a dangerous, demon-worshiping cult that Magnus originally created.

April 16

Serious Moonlight – Jenn Bennett: Teens Birdie & Daniel bond after both taking on graveyard shifts at a historic Seattle Hotel. Sharing a love of mysteries, the two stumble upon and set out to investigate a potential real one – that of a famous, reclusive author, never before seen in public, who may be secretly meeting someone at the hotel.

Starworld – Audrey Coulthurst & Paula Garner: Sam & Zoe both seek an escape from the hardships of their realities. When the two girls meet and exchange numbers, a friendship begins that leads to the creation of a private universe they call “Starworld” – a world full of adventure, kindness, and acceptance. But can it survive Sam’s growing feelings for Zoe?

April 23rd

If I’m Being Honest – Emily Wibberly & Austin Siegemund-Broka: Cameron is known as her school’s Queen bee, and a bitch at that. But this won’t help her impress crush, Andrew. Consequently, she sets out to “tame” herself, including making amends with those she’s hurt. This leads her to Brendan. As Brendan and Cameron bond, she starts to question whether compromising who she is for a guy is really the way to go.

The Tiger at Midnight – Swati Teerdhala: Drawing from Indian history and Hindu mythology, the story follows a legendary assassin and a dedicated soldier on opposing sides of the existing regime. When the two cross paths, it sets off a dramatic chain of events that could effect the future of their land.

April 30th

King of Fools (The Shadow Game 2#) – Amanda Foody: Book two in The Shadow Game series returns us to the City of Sin as Enne and Levi continue to play a dangerous game of crime and politics in which they may lose not only everything they’ve worked for but also their lives.

What April release are you most looking forward to?

Stabtastic: 7 Assassin Reads for When you Feel Like Something Bloody & Murderous

I love a good stabtastic read on occasion (totally a real, not at all made up word). After all, a little moral ambiguity is good for the household bookworm. Plus, if there’s one thing assassin stories aren’t, it’s boring. Well, at least the majority of the time. But what books are out there to fulfill the occasional need for something a little dark and potentially messy? Here are 7 books that may fit the bill.

Just to state up front, I haven’t read all of these so don’t hate on me if there’s something here that you weren’t so keen on.

Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

29845906

Let’s kick things off with the obvious pick – obvious because I freakin’ love this series. Nevernight is about a girl named Mia whose family is killed by the Emperor when she is ten years old. Six years later she sets out in search of a school for assassins called The Red Church in the hopes of making herself into a weapon strong enough to get revenge. The Red Church is hardcore though and if you can’t hack it as a student, you die. Simple as that. Mia also happens to be special in that she’s a Darkin – someone with the rare ability to control shadows. One of the ways her ability manifests itself is as a shadow companion in the shape of a cat which she calls Mr Kindly. Basically, it’s dark, bloody, sassy, a little smutty, and it’s fabulous.

Shelves: Adult, Revenge-Story, Training-Academy, Magic, Sass, Quotable.

Grave Mercy – Robin Lafevers

38640725

This one is on my neverending TBR. Grave Mercy follows seventeen-year-old Ismae who is supposed to be married off to an older man. When a mark on her back identifying her as one of Death’s Daughters is found, she’s sent off to the convent at St. Mortain. Here, the nuns give her a choice – leave and marry, or stay and train as an assassin to serve as a handmaiden to Death (assassin nun). Following her training, she’s sent to court in Brittany to protect the young Duchess, Anne, from the French. To do this, she poses as mistress to Anne’s illegitimate half-brother, Gavriel Duval, who may or may not be acting against her. What will come as a shock to no one, Gavriel and Isame fall for each other. Like Mia in Nevernight, Isame also has special abilities in that she has an immunity to poisons and can talk to souls. Although the story does revolve around politcial espionage and mystery, it’s in large part a historical romance and does have a slower pace so keep that in mind.

Shelves: YA, Historical-Romance, Assassin-nuns, Alternate-History, Political-Intrigue, Mystery.

Red Sister – Mark Lawrence

25895524

Sorry, did you just say you wanted MORE assassin nuns? Well, I aim to please. Red Sister is another book which utilises the good old training academy trope. It revolves around eight-year-old Nona Grey. Nona is taken in by the nuns of Sweet Mercy Convent after she shows signs of magical abilities derived from ancient bloodlines when she murders the son of a powerful man. The nuns offer her the opportunity to avoid execution by taking up a position as a novice and spending the next ten years training to become a fearsome warrior. RS spans over the first three years of Nona’s training. Much of the book is spent within the confines of the convent but there are also threats to Nona from the outside – the consequences of her actions before becoming a novice. Additionally, the book has a chosen one element and features a largely 90% female cast of badass characters.

Shelves: Chosen One, Magic, Assassin-Nuns, Strong-Female-Characters, Friendship, No-Romance, Training-Academies.

Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas

13519397

Come on, I had to do it. It’s not a fave of mine but could you imagine the rioting if I left it off? The Assasin’s Blade would probably be a better pick, but as ToG is the original, we’ll go with it instead. Book one in the series introduces us to Celaena Sardothien, trained assassin, and currently serving a life sentence in the salt mines of Endovier. In exchange for her freedom, Celaena is offered the chance to represent Prince Dorian as a candidate in his father’s to-the-death tournament to find a new royal assassin. Here she’ll be pitted against some of the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land, and either she’ll win or die trying. After books 1, 2 & the prequel, the series does direct focus away from the assassin vibe but Celaena’s history as an assassin and associated skills do play a big role in the other books. It’s high stakes fantasy with battles, faeries, magic and romance. But be prepared, the series is 8 books long so it’s going to take a WHILE.

Shelves: YA, Tournament, Royalty, Lost-Princess, Magic, Kickass-MC, Friendship, Book-Boyfriends.

Assassin’s Apprentice – Robin Hobb

21956219

Robin Hobb is a big name in the fantasy genre and the Farseer trilogy is considered to be one of her best series. In Assassin’s Apprentice, we meet Fitz, the royal bastard. Fitz has difficulty finding his place, something made worse by the fact that he has a magical link with animals known as the Wit – a craft hated by the nobility. Once he gets older, Fitz is adopted into the royal household and begins training to become the royal assassin. The books follow Fitz’s adventures and trials, dealing with politics, war, loss and revenge. This is another series that starts out slow. However, the books were so popular that they spawned two more series about the character.

Shelves: High-Fantasy, Royalty, Magic, Mentor-Apprentice, Coming-of-Age, Politics, Underdog-Protagonist.

Graceling – Kristin Cashore

3236307

Another kick-ass leading lady and another romance style fantasy. Our MC is Katsa – a girl born with a Grace (exceptional skill or talent) for killing people. Because of this, she serves as a thug for the king, her uncle, travelling across the land killing, torturing and instilling nightmares. However, as she grows up Katsa starts to question her role. One day she comes across Po, a graced man as talented in fighting as she is. He turns out to be a Prince who has come searching for his kidnapped grandfather. The two start up a friendship and set out together to track down the kidnappers. As you’d expect, the two also fall in love. The book is a series of three which changes focus characters each time around. It’s won a bunch of awards, has a 4.12 average GR rating, and known to contain one of the most loveable romantic interests around. Although, I should note that the feminism aspect to this novel is very much on the side of: reject all things considered to be feminine and girly.

Shelves: YA, Romance, Friends-to-Lovers, Adventure, Magic, Coming-of-Age, Action, Radical Feminism, Kingdoms-and-Royals

The Way of Shadows – Brent Weeks

3227063

This book is one of those weird ones where the average Goodreads rating is high and the top reviews are negative. Probably because the story itself has some issues but people seem to enjoy it as a sort of guilty pleasure read? The first book in the Night Angel series introduces us to Azoth, a guild rat who lives a miserable existence in the slums. To escape his situation, he apprentices himself to renowned Wetboy (aka super assassin) Durzo Blint. Azoth is forced to leave his old life entirely behind and is given a new name, Kylar Stern. He then begins his training in magic, fighting and poisons to become a Wetboy himself. His skills are soon put to the test when his city is threatened. While the dialogue is supposedly questionable at times, and the attitudes towards women could use a lot of work, The Way of Shadows is supposedly an action packed and fast paced ride. If you enjoy fantasy tropes, this book includes a few of them. The book doesn’t involve much focus on world building, although the magic system is reportedly pretty interesting, and instead directs attention to plot and characters.

Shelves: Adult, Grim-Dark, Action, Magic, Coming-of-Age, Male-Protagonist, Mentor-Apprentice.

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

What’s your favourite assassin themed book?

And That’s a Wrap: February ’19 Edition

Two down, ten months to go. As usual, this year feels like it’s going very fast but luckily enough, I feel good about where I am with my reading progress. I’m balancing backlisted books with new releases, tackling some bigger reads, and still fitting in a couple of re-reads. All in all, things are well in Ashley’s book world. Let’s break February down:

I managed to read a total of 7 books this month. In order to reach my 2019 reading goal, I need to read 6.6 books a month which means things are so far so good, especially considering Feb is a short month. As usual, there was a mix of star ratings, but also a new favourite!

King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo ★★★

KoS was one of my big 2019 anticipated releases and I had high expectations for it. But unfortunately, it ended up a three-star read for me. I still adore the characters, Zoya and Nina are my queens, but the plot wasn’t engaging enough for me in large parts. There was a lot of nothing for a long time and once the point of the main plot was finally revealed, I just don’t think I was that keen on it? Still, the dialogue remains on point.

99 Percent Mine – Sally Thorne ★★★.5

This was a cute, fluffy read. I enjoyed myself, but it did suffer from a lot of the same problems I had with Sally’s first book, The Hating Game. There isn’t a whole lot of plot, the male lead has a couple of annoying alpha male moments that don’t go with the rest of his personality, and the climax of the story is melodramatic for what it is. This aside, it was an enjoyable read with some amusing and sweet moments and a couple of hot scenes.

City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments 3#) – Cassandra Clare ★★★★

While CoB and CoA haven’t held up as well on rereads ten years later, City of Glass surprisingly did. I’m shocked! I had a great time rereading this. It’s definitely my favourite book of the series, easy. It’s got great tension, twists, high stakes, and the dialogue is good too. I also enjoyed the fact that it featured more Alec, Simon, Izzy and Magnus. I think I must just have a thing for books featuring potential-end-of-the-world battles.

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments 4#) – Cassandra Clare ★★

Okay, so this book isn’t absolutely awful like I remember but it’s not close to good either. If you completely ignore the nonsensical, eye-roll worthy, and stupid Clary-Jace storyline as well as the climax (gosh, they’re bad). The rest of the book is passable but of course, we can’t factor out those things. So two stars it is.

American Panda – Gloria Chao ★★★

I’m conflicted over this one. It’s a pretty adorable book and it was great to read something dealing with Chinese characters and culture (Woo, diversity!). However, it’s weird, but I couldn’t help feeling extremely frustrated and suffocated by the behaviour of Mei’s family. While I get that’s the point in order to empathise with her, it kind of put me off and dampened my enjoyment. Otherwise, I liked that the romance didn’t dominate the plot and Mei, herself, was a very likeable MC.

Normal People – Sally Rooney ★★.5

I normally enjoy books with this kind of subject matter but with Normal People, while I thought the characters were okay and I was able to sympathise, I just never fully bonded with them. At times, the writing can be great, and others it’s clunky and full of monotonous details. The novel touches on a lot of important themes – class, sexuality, abusive relationships, mental health, suicide, but in the end, I just felt as though many things had been introduced and not fully developed or handled satisfyingly. I wish more had happened to the characters & changed in their lives. I was constantly waiting for the shoe to drop, and while something did happen, I finished the book on a feeling of…flatness. Overall, a disappointing read for something so talked about, but somehow, still something I’ll think about for a while after.

Skyward – Brandon Sanderson ★★★★★

Gosh, this was GOOD. I now fully understand the Sanderson magic. The pacing in this novel is perfect – a balance between exciting action and hit you in the feels emotion. The characters are well written and wonderfully developed over time, the dialogue is excellent and often very funny, and the world-building once again shows off just how great Sanderson is at fantasy/sci-fi writing. Amazing. I cannot wait for the sequel!


Yeah, yeah, I bought too many books again. What else is new? I just want to read everything, okay! But I need more hours in the day (preferably less of them at work, but a girl can dream, right?). All in all, nine purchases (of which one is still on its way from the UK – Priory). I was also lucky enough to get approved to read a copy of Christine Riccio’s debut novel, Again, but Better. I know a big chunk of the online bookish community is super hyped for this one so I was massively surprised to get access to it.

It was a lazy girl month blogging-wise. Here is my very sad list of posts from February. Here’s hoping I’ll do better in March.

As I mentioned above, I tend to get through around 6 books a month at the moment, but as I like to maintain a little flexibility, here are just three books I plan to tackle in March (two of which I’ve already started):


And that’s a wrap on February! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful month in books.

Tell me what your favourite and least favourite reads of the last month were. My favourite was Skyward and least fave was City of Fallen Angels.

March ’19 Releases to Get Excited About

In the past, I’ve been doing these posts as a sort of 3 at a time, multiple posts a month kind of thing, complete with lengthy blurbs for each book. I’ve decided to make things easier and just pop a whole bunch of new releases for the month into one big post. I’ll try to summarise the plot for each book into short snippets that’ll hopefully help you decide if you’re interested in finding out more. All books are linked to their respective Goodreads pages to make things even easier. While a large chunk of these are YA, not all of them are and I’ve incorporated a few books from adult genres for those who like to read more broadly.


5th March

  • The Everlasting Rose (The Belles #2) – Dhonielle Clayton: Camille and her allies race to find Princess Charlotte and fight to restore peace to Orleans.
  • The Quiet You Carry – Nikki Barthelmess: After a mysterious incident with her father, Victoria is placed into foster care and forced to adjust to her new surroundings.
  • Superman: Dawnbreaker (DC Icons 4#) – Matt de la Pena: A young Clarke Kent teams up with bestie Lana Lane to solve a Smallville mystery whilst learning more about his powers and origins.
  • To Best the Boys – Mary Weber: Disguised as a boy, a teen scientist enters a dangerous scholarship contest to win entry to an illustrious men’s university in order to research a cure to the disease killing her mother.
  • Daisy Jones & The Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid: Told as a compilation of interviews, DJ&TS details the rise and eventual break up of a legendary (fictional) band during the 60s and 70s.

March 5th Continues…(Gosh!)

  • The Last 8 – Laura Pohl: Eight teenagers learn to survive on Earth after an alien attack decimates the human population.
  • Lovely War – Julie Berry: In a hotel room during WWII, the goddess of love, Aphrodite, tells a story to her husband, Hephaestus, and lover, Ares, of four young people who met and fell in love during WWI.
  • Call Me Evie – J.P. Pomare: Kate wakes up in an isolated cabin. A man named Bill claims she’s there for her protection, that she did something unspeakable. Kate’s memory of her life before is sketchy and Bill’s story doesn’t add up. But does she really want to remember?
  • Bloodleaf – Crystal Smith:  Aurelia is destined to marry the prince of an enemy country. After an assassination attempt, she uses forbidden magic to save a life. Attacked by witch hunters, she trades places with her lady in waiting, Lisette. Now forced to survive without money or status, Aurelia is in a race to make it to Achelva before Lisette marries the prince instead.
  • Opposite of Always – Justin A. Reynolds: Jack is a pro at ‘almost’ getting things – valedictorian, varsity – but when he meets Kate, he feels as though his curse might finally be over. Until she dies. Now, with help of some time travel, Jack may have the chance to prevent her death. But is it worth it if it means hurting someone else he loves?

19th March

  • Sherwood – Megan Spooner: After the death of Robin Hood, Maid Marion takes up his legendary bow and hood to fight for the people of Locksley against the terrible Sheriff of Nottingham.
  • Small Town Hearts – Lillie Vale: In a small, beachside town, Babe, is forced to deal with the falling out of her two best friends, re-appearance of her ex-girlfriend, and growing feelings for the cute artist she knows will leave town when the summer’s over.
  • The Weight of the Stars – K. Ancrum: Two girls are brought together after a terrible accident. They bond over listening to radio waves on a roof in the hopes of hearing something from one of the pair’s mother, an astronaut on a one way trip to the edge of the solar system.
  • Girls with Sharp Sticks – Suzanne Young: The Innovations Academy is designed to turn young ladies into perfectly obedient women. However, when Mena and her friends start to question the nature of their existence, they realise the school holds some very dark secrets.
  • Queenie – Candice Carty-Williams: Queenie is a 25-year-old Jamaican-British woman living in London, constantly trying to straddle two cultures. After a messy break up with her long term boyfriend, she starts on a downward spiral before undergoing a journey of self-discovery and beginning to question who she wants to be and what she wants to do with her life.

26th March

  • Once & Future – Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy: Comedy and Sci-fi combine in this King Arthur retelling featuring a teen Merlin who’s been aging backwards, a cruel oppressive government, and the 42nd reincarnation of Arthur, Ari, who crashes on new Earth while on the run from a mega-corporation.
  • In Another Life – C. C. Hunter: When Chloe moves to a new town with her mother, she meets Cash, a boy who informs her that she looks just like the child his foster parents lost years ago. As the two dig into Chloe’s adoption, the more strange things start to occur and others just don’t add up.
  • Killing November – Adriana Mather: New student, November Adly sets out to find the culprit behind a series of murders at a school designed to train students to be assassins, counsellors, spies, and impersonators.

Hopefully there’s at least one book on this list that caught your eye, I know there’s definitely a few on my radar. While I’ve tried to cover a chunk of reads that come out in March, I know there are STACKS I’m missing. I’d be here til the end of time if I tried to cover them all. If there’s a book you think I should add, just let me know. It’s always good to share the excitement with others.

What March ’19 release are you most excited about?