Wednesday, November 1, 2017

October 2017 EOM Wrap Up

October involved my annual All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books. With Asher's arrival this month, reading and blogging took a little back seat. Thankfully I had reviews scheduled ahead for the entire month, but I'm behind on responding to comments. I hope you guys understand. I hope everyone had a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

I have read 4 books this month (not including children's books). *These qualify for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
This Heart of Mine by CC Hunter
Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
This Tiny Perfect World by Lauren Gibaldi

I have reviewed 5 books this month. *These qualify for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
*The Raven King (The Raven King, # 4) by Maggie Stiefvater
The Bird and the Sword (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles, # 1) by Amy Harmon
Kiss of Fire (Imdalind, # 1) by Rebecca Ethington
Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, # 1) by Cassandra Clare
A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, # 2) by Sarah J Maas

Other Posts:
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 10/1/17
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 10/8/17
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 10/15/17
Sunday Post - 10/22/17
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 10/27/17
Top Ten New Book Boyfriends
Top Ten Autumn Book Covers
Top Ten Unique Book Titles
Can't Wait for The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers
Can't Wait for This Tiny Perfect World by Lauren Gibaldi
Can't Wait for This Heart of Mine by CC Hunter
Can't Wait for Instructions for a Secondhand Heart by Tamsyn Murray
2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - October Wrap Up

Goals:
I'm like 15 days AHEAD on my Bible reading plan.
I've read 59 out of 52 books.
I've read 8 out of 10-12 series enders.

A Word About November:
I'm trying to settle into my new normal with being a mother of two and adjusting to a new baby. Knowing that Asher would be arriving in October, I scheduled myself a blogging break for the entire month of November. Unlike when Ever was born, I don't have any reviews scheduled for the month. I also don't plan to be active with responding to comments or visiting other blogs. I really just want to use this time to enjoy my brand new baby. I hope you all understand. When Ever was born, I found that my reading time took a significant hit and blogging became a lot more "by the seat of my pants" than I'm used to. I feel sure that will be the same and maybe even worse now that I've got two littles to look after. But obviously, these two are my priority. Don't worry, I have December almost completely scheduled already so I'll definitely return to posting regularly then even if I'm still not able to visit others and comment as much as I'd like. I hope you all have a great November and Happy Thanksgiving (for the US).

Monday, October 30, 2017

All Things Halloween Review - A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, # 2)

By: Sarah J Maas

Published: May 3rd 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

626 pages

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Fae, Faeries

Source: Borrowed from Holly

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

So first things first...what a rollercoaster! At the end of A Court of Thorns and Roses Feyre kills two innocent faeries in order to save Tamlin's life. But it goes beyond saving his life. The death of these two fae allowed Feyre to break the curse that Amarantha put on all of Prythian. However, Feyre's really in a dark place because she murdered these two faeries. She's depressed, doesn't feel worthy of having survived or the gift of new, immortal life that she's been given. And I expected from the end of that book that Tamlin might not be the person to help her overcome this place of darkness. So I expected it, but Lacy and Holly also warned me that the first 30ish% of A Court of Mist and Fury would be a struggle to read just as Feyre's struggling to live it. And it was. Or at least the first 25% was for me.

I said "rollercoaster," right? Here's how things went. I was rolling my eyes in the beginning. Drudging through bit by bit. Falling asleep from pregnancy exhaustion and a lack of interest in Feyre's struggles. Then Rhysand calls in his bargain with Feyre and pulls her to the Night Court for a week and I started to feel hope that he might be exactly what Feyre needs to snap out of her darkness. Tamlin does something stupid, and I was back to rolling my eyes. Feyre makes some choices that slow begin to pull her out of her depression and darkness and the seed of hope began again. Of course this part was something that I'd predicted to Holly and Lacy, but I won't state here to prevent spoilers. I was almost scared to hope for what I predicted though so I lived on in a state of anxiousness in this area until about 65-70%. In the meantime, Feyre and gang began to formulate a plan against the bigger bad (bigger than Amarantha),Getting to the 70-80% mark I was feeling all the feels of romance and love and swooning. But of course, we still have 20-30% left so we can't get too comfortable. Bad things must happen and anxiousness sets in again. Sure enough we find ourselves in quite an unfortunate situation where I was a little frustrated and miffed that the characters didn't see this coming. Then outrage over the stupidity of a once beloved character who will have a hard time redeeming themselves if that's even possible. And then furiousness that the book was approaching such a rapid close with the possibility of such a negative cliffhanger approaching. Or not necessarily cliffhanger, but just really negative circumstances for our characters. And then Sarah J Maas swoops in and gives me a bit of relief even if I'm not completely happy with where the book comes to a close. ROLLER. COASTER.

Now I realize that all of that was extremely vague and probably didn't quite help you out if you were having a hard time deciding if you want to read this book/series or not. Well let me just tell...YOU DO! You definitely do want to read this book and this series. Sarah J Maas put a whole new level to every piece of the puzzle being linked and having a double meaning. I mean with my experience through her Throne of Glass series, I knew that she was capable of this, but her storytelling abilities in A Court of Mist and Fury went beyond, beyond, beyond anything I imagined.

As always, the secondary characters are rich and complex and colorful. I look forward so much to the added layers of story that each character (and perhaps a few new couples) might add to the next book/spin off.

I was snapping pictures galore (since I was reading this one on Holly's kindle) of sections that I thought were foreshadowing (one passage I didn't even realize was foreshadowing, but turned out to be major), witty one-liners, heated passages, words that made me swoon. Here are some of my favorite, non-spoiler quotes:

-"There have to be at least a dozen other hunters more experienced and skilled--" "Maybe there are. But you're the only one I trust."

-"You can be a pawn, be someone's reward, and spend the rest of your immortal life bowing and scraping and pretending you're less than him, than..., than any of us. If you want to pick that road, then fine. A shame, but it's your choices."

-"...I'll always make time for you."

-"I love my people and my family. Do not think I wouldn't become a monster to keep them protected."

-"So I followed the bond home."

-"Because you were breaking. And I couldn't find another way to save you."

-"To the stars who listen--and the dreams that are answered."

Oh I had many more quotes but they revealed just a bit too much.

I should have mentioned this in my review of A Court of Thorns and Roses but I do find myself annoyed with the names of people and places that I'm utterly unsure how to pronounce. I like unique, but give me some heads up on how to pronounce them so I'm not either mispronouncing them the entire time, skipping them entirely, or having to stop each time I come to the words to sound them out. The first book did have a pronunciation list at the END of the kindle edition that I read. This would have been better up front. But this book didn't have one at all as far as I recall and there were a few new names/places that could have used some explanation.

Language and sexually descriptive scenes place this series beyond young adult.

Sarah J Maas is a master craftsman when it comes to storytelling. I'll be checking out her future books for sure, and I can't wait to see how this series wraps up. I know there is likely frustration, swoon-worthy moments, and many twists to come. I debated giving A Court of Mist and Fury 4.5 Stars because of the slow beginning, but realized that such a beginning was utterly necessary to the overall story and to the transformation of Feyre's character that A Court of Mist and Fury can only deserve 5 Stars. Have you read A Court of Mist and Fury? What did you think? Let me know!

And because I can't resist discussing this, highlight for spoilers: Sarah J Maas is one of the few authors who has successfully had me jumping ship (relationships that is)...MORE THAN ONCE. After her mastery in this area in the Throne of Glass series, I was prepared for it in this one and actually specifically predicted this very thing to Lacy and Holly. However, to see it play out was masterfully done. And the moment where Rhys reveals all to Feyre from the beginning...before they even met up until that very moment...it was perfection. The slow process of Feyre's personal changes mixed with the inch by inch of Rhys revealing himself to her in just the right amounts and pieces leading to an epically deep bond and love between the two of them. THESE ARE THE LOVE STORIES THAT I LOVE TO READ ABOUT! Obviously there's physical attraction and flirting between the two from the very beginning, but the substance and foundation of their relationship goes so far beyond the physical. And the physical is magnified between them because of their deep emotional and soulful connection.

This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 10/29/17

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This week has been a whirlwind. Monday I decided to do my grocery shopping early. Little Girl has not had the best week with potty training. It's almost like she knows her world is about to get turned upside down. She's also definitely hit the 2 year old "no" phase. And that's not the most fun. My mom went to get a 2nd opinion on her thumb and this doctor confirmed that she'll need to have it amputated. That will happen this coming week likely. I hate it so much for her as it is her dominant hand and she's big into sewing. She'll learn to adjust I'm sure, but it's going to take quite some time. Wednesday Husband and his mom took Little Girl to the fall festival at his mom's church. I wanted to go, but I just couldn't stand and walk around for that length of time. Thursday Little Girl and I went to spend the day with my mom. I also had my last doctor's appointment for Baby Boy and went by the hospital to pre-register. C-section is scheduled for 6:30 am tomorrow. Wish us well. That being said, I've got some more detailed info coming in my October Wrap Up to post on Wednesday, but I do plan to take a blogging break the entire month of November. I'll get back with you guys in December! Happy Halloween and a happy early Thanksgiving to you all!

My annual "All Things Halloween" event ends Monday. This is my month-long event where I feature reviews from Halloween-y genres (fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, sci-fi, horror, mystery, thriller, and suspense). Over the last few years I've had mostly fantasy books as I just haven't been in the mood for much horror, but still...these are books that can get you in the mood for Halloween.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: All Things Halloween Review of Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, # 1) by Cassandra Clare (4 Stars)
Tuesday: Ten Unique Book Titles
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Instructions for a Secondhand Heart by Tamsyn Murray & 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - October Wrap Up

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: All Things Halloween Review of A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns & Roses, # 2) by Sarah J Maas
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday (maybe)
Wednesday: October 2017 EOM Wrap Up

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

The Becoming of Noah Shaw (The Shaw Confessions, # 1)

By: Michelle Hodkin

Expected Publication: November 7th 2017 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

384 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--In the first book of the Shaw Confessions, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, old skeletons are laid bare and new promises prove deadly. This is what happens after happily ever after.

Everyone thinks seventeen-year-old Noah Shaw has the world on a string.

They’re wrong.

Mara Dyer is the only one he trusts with his secrets and his future.

He shouldn’t.

And both are scared that uncovering the truth about themselves will force them apart.

They’re right.

A Quiet Kind of Thunder

By: Sara Barnard

Expected Publication: January 9th 2018 by Simon Pulse

400 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--A girl who can’t speak and a boy who can’t hear go on a journey of self-discovery and find support with each other in this gripping, emotionally resonant novel from bestselling author Sara Barnard. Perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Jandy Nelson.

Steffi doesn’t talk, but she has so much to say.
Rhys can’t hear, but he can listen.

Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life. The condition’s name has always felt ironic to her, because she certainly does not “select” not to speak. In fact, she would give anything to be able to speak as easily and often as everyone around her can. She suffers from crippling anxiety, and uncontrollably, in most situations simply can’t open her mouth to get out the words.

Steffi’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to help him acclimate. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk. As they find ways to communicate, Steffi discovers that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it. But as she starts to overcome a lifelong challenge, she’ll soon confront questions about the nature of her own identity and the very essence of what it is to know another person.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Can't Wait for Instructions for a Secondhand Heart

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Instructions for a Secondhand Heart

By: Tamsyn Murray

Expected Publication: December 5th 2017 by Poppy

320 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--A moving novel about grief, guilt, and the unpredictability of love, for fans of Everything, Everything and All the Bright Places.

Jonny knows better than anyone that life is full of cruel ironies. He's spent every day in a hospital hooked up to machines to keep his heart ticking. Then when a donor match is found for Jonny's heart, that turns out to be the cruelest irony of all. Because for Jonny's life to finally start, someone else's had to end.

That someone turns out to be Neve's twin brother, Leo. When Leo was alive, all Neve wanted was for him (and all his glorious, overshadowing perfection) to leave. Now that Leo's actually gone forever, Neve has no idea how to move forward. Then Jonny walks into her life looking for answers, her brother's heart beating in his chest, and everything starts to change.

Together, Neve and Jonny will have to face the future, no matter how frightening it is, while also learning to heal their hearts, no matter how much it hurts. The final book will feature select illustrations from "Jonny's" sketchbook.

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - October Wrap Up

Time for our ninth Monthly Wrap Up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Since the September Wrap Up, neither Holly nor Sandy have finished any series enders.

Announcements/Reminders:

  1. Please make sure we have a valid email address or other means of contacting you if you choose to participate. Linking up to Goodreads is perfectly fine, but we have found that Goodreads is not a reliable source for contacting someone should you be selected as one of the monthly giveaway winners. This could be due to your Goodreads notification settings or Goodreads themselves could be at fault. We're not sure which. And since we want to make sure that everyone who is eligible for one of the giveaways will receive their prize should they win one month or the grand prize at the end of the year, it is up to you to ensure that we can contact you and that you respond within a reasonable amount of time (usually stated in the email notifying you of your winning).
  2. While the challenge and giveaways are open internationally, please make sure that you can receive e-gift cards via Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com. Again, we want to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to participate and to receive the prizes. Please remember that Holly and I are funding the giveaways out of our own pockets as something that we want to do, and we would like to continue to do so.

Which series enders did you finish? Link the up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the October giveaway runs from October 25th - November 25th. On November 25th we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a winner.