Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I've recently added to my TBR!

Posted by The YA Book Traveler , Tuesday, March 31, 2015 12:35 PM

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. Click Here for more details. 

This week's TTT are books that have been recently added to my "to-be-read" pile. 

Book Review: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows // INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY

Posted by The YA Book Traveler , Saturday, March 28, 2015 8:34 PM


BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE: The Orphan Queen
AUTHOR: Jodi Meadows
SERIES: The Orphan Queen #1
PUBLISHER: Katherine Tegen Books
BUY TODAY!!!!!

THE ORPHAN QUEEN

Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others,

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.



Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Posted by The YA Book Traveler , Tuesday, March 24, 2015 6:59 PM

A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #1)

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London - but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.
 (less)
Hardcover400 pages
Published February 24th 2015 by Tor Books

My Thoughts - 3.5 Stars


Well, I am basically in the minority with this book. I was HIGHLY anticipating this book after all the amazing comments and constant flailing online from fellow bloggers.

Now, don't get my wrong I didn't hate this book or anything I only "liked" it. I was expecting to fall in love but it fell a bit flat for me.

The Story:
The story line is interesting. There are parallel Londons that each have a varying degree of magic within them. Kell is one of two people who can travel between these worlds. He gets mixed up into something unexpected and his life changes.  

The Characters:
Kell - Kell is a great character. Perhaps my favorite part about him was his magical coat. It has many many coats within itself and changes shapes, sizes and colors. He's a pretty serious person who rarely smiles or jokes. 

Lila - The word I would use to describe Lila would be spunky. She's tough, a thief, and a fighter. But she's ready for any adventure that will come her way. Freedom is important to her.

Romance:
This is totally a personal preference and not a criticism of the book, but there wasn't much romance in this book. I LOVE swoony moments that make my heart skip a beat. This was not in this book. 

Overall:
Sadly, I did not love this book as much as everyone else. It was good but I wasn't blown away as many others were. The book does have the feeling of a standalone which is nice compared to some other books that leave you on a cliff hanger. I had suspicions and predictions about some characters that were never really revealed within the book (perhaps book 2?).

Bottom line: I'd recommend this book solely for the fact that MOST people love it.


The Orphan Queen Blog Tour // Character Reveal: Black Knife PLUS Giveaway!

Posted by The YA Book Traveler , Thursday, March 12, 2015 9:00 AM


BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE: The Orphan Queen
AUTHOR: Jodi Meadows
SERIES: The Orphan Queen #1
PUBLISHER: Katherine Tegen Books
BUY TODAY!!!!!

THE ORPHAN QUEEN

Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others,

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.



Character Reveal!

Black Knife has been practicing vigilantism in Skyvale for about two years. No one is sure where he came from or why he started, but it's widely accepted that he's done a lot to help make the city a safer place to live.

Novellas 

The Hidden Prince - June 2, 2015
The Glowing Knight - September 1, 2015


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jodi Meadows lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a Kippy*, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict, and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut. She is the author of the INCARNATE Trilogy and the forthcoming ORPHAN QUEEN Duology (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen).

* A Kippy is a cat.

FIND JODI AT: WEBSITE || TWITTER || GOODREADS || TUMBLR || FACEBOOK


US ONLY Giveaway! 

Enter to win a copy of The Orphan Queen!

One email address per person.
All entries must be done by the rules otherwise
  all your entries will be disqualified.
This is open only to US residence.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review: An Ember in Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Posted by The YA Book Traveler , Thursday, March 5, 2015 9:02 PM

An Ember in the Ashes

by Sabaa Tahir 
Kindle Edition443 pages
Expected publication: April 28th 2015 by Razorbill

Goodreads Summary:

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

My Review 3/5 Stars

The Story:
I didn't know ANYTHING about this book going in other than it was a fantasy. I prefer, if possible, going into most books blind. I really only want to know what genre a book is in and if it's AMAZING!
This book is a bit of a mix for me. I actually struggled through the first 200 pages and did contemplate DNFing it. BUT I haven't heard or read a single negative review about this book so I knew that I needed to keep with it because it must be good.

The first 200 pages I found interesting...but only OK. After that the book definitely started turning more intense and I actually started liking and caring for the characters.

The world building was very interesting in this book with the Martials who now rule over the Empire.

The Characters:
I hate spoiling or giving away too much plot but let's just say that the characters all around from main characters to side characters show a lot of growth over this book. The side characters are super rich in their detail and I always love it when all the characters are worth knowing and get to shine on their own.

Overall, I never truly connected with the characters deeply. I liked them all...but I can't say I love them, yet anyways.

The Romance:
I've come to terms with the fact that books need to have romance in order for me to really get excited about it. This didn't seem to happen for a while in the book but eventually showed up which made me quite happy. HOWEVER...I am a bit disappointed in the romance overall. There is a love triangle happening and one of the characters I just don't get why there is chemistry between them, since they really don't even know each other or spend much time together. It felt forced and unnecessary to the book.

Bottom Line:
Sadly, for me, this just hit LIKE but didn't hit LOVE. I do think I'll read the sequel if it gets written but I wasn't in love with this book as much as I wanted to be. Things felt forced and I never really connected with the characters. It was really good, but just not for me.



I was able to get this book free and early from Penguin's First to Read program. If you don't know what this is go to the First to Read website to sign  up!

Book Review - The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Posted by The YA Book Traveler , Wednesday, March 4, 2015 10:21 PM

The Scorpio Races by 

Goodreads Summary:
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

My Thoughts
I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH! Yes, it is ALL CAPS worthy. This was my very first Maggie Stiefvater book and I wasn't disappointed one bit.

I bought the paperback of this book and at the end there is a speech Maggie gives when she received the Michael L. Printz award. In the speech she speaks about, for her, that she wanted to create a world that could be seen in every way through taste, tough, smell and feel. That is achieved in this book 100%. 

The island of Thisby is the place where this story takes place and Maggie's writing is so beautiful that you not only can see the island but you can smell it, taste it, hear it, and feel it's soul. I LOVED this aspect about the book so much. Even the characters were like this. Not only did I learn who they were in personality but their mannerisms, and especially what made their hearts beat.

This book has soul and I fell in love with it.

The two main characters Puck (Kate) Connolly and Sean Kendrick are both wonderful characters. They both have had difficult lives but it's made them who they are. 

Puck enters the yearly, and deadly, race where men ride on the cappail uisce, water horses. Something is happening in her family that spurs her to enter. Here she meets Sean Kendrick who I would say is a horse whisperer in his own right. He understands horses like no other.

The FEELS!!!

Oh man, this book especially the second half of the book is covered in amazing feels...I literally was internally squealing over many lines in this book.

Bottom Line:

If you haven't read The Scorpio Races yet, READ IT SOON! Truly, it was magical and I'm so happy to have been able to be a part of those on the island of Thisby and I know I'll visit over and over again.

Side Note: Movie
Focus has picked up the right to make this book into a film. I think this would be fantastic on the silver screen and I hope to see it come alive!

Add this to your Goodreads TBR!
The Scorpio Races

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten All Time Favorite Books from the Last 3 Years!

Posted by The YA Book Traveler , Tuesday, March 3, 2015 9:53 AM

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. Click Here for more details. 

This week's top ten are the Top Ten Favorite Books from the Last 3 Years.


1. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch - I LOVED this book so much that I declared it my favorite 2014 read. I love the characters in this book and the world Sara created. 

2. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi - This series for me will be a forever re-read series. I've already read it multiple times and I know I'll come back. This series is AMAZING because of the CHARACTERS! More than any book, I wish these characters were real people. 

3. Divergent  by Veronica Roth - Now, first off...as a series, I really hate this series...BUT I LOVE Divergent! I'm still bitter about this series as a whole but I can't deny my love for the first book. 

4. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen - I ALMOST DNF'd this book! Ah! I'm so glad I didn't because this book is truly amazing. Very swoon-worthy and awesome characters. 

5. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas - I love the Throne of Glass series but, so far, Crown of Midnight is my favorite.

6. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes - This fantasy series is amazing! I love it when I got back and forth between loving and hating characters. It really keeps me guessing and I never know what's gong to happen.

7. Eternity Cure (The Immortal Rules Series #2) by Julie Kagawa - I don't cry very easily with books but oh man...did I cry. This book tore out my heart, thanks Julie Kagawa! This is a great series, so read it if you haven't!

8. The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey series #3)  by Julie Kagawa - Here is another book that riped my heart out, in a good way! This is such a wonderful series full of good and evil battling it out and a sarcastic cat!

9. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers - I just read this book a few weeks ago and it really is a must read! The world is so interesting and the romance in this book is one of my favorites.

10. Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson - I LOVE THIS SERIES! Be warned though...I didn't care for book 1, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, BUT each book in this series gets more and more amazing. This by far has been my favorite series enders!

What are yours?