Sunday, 17 February 2019

Blog Tour: Enchantée by Gita Trelease




Hi everyone! Welcome to my stop on the Enchantee Blog Tour! This book is probably one of my most anticipated of the entire year, and it totally lived up to my expectations. You can read my review later in the post, but first, here's some details about the book! Thank you so much to the lovely folks at Flatiron for sending me an ARC and making me squeal all over the place!




36613718Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians...

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she's playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…


About the Author:
Born in Sweden to Indian and Swedish parents, Gita Trelease has lived in many places, including New York, Paris, and a tiny town in central Italy. She attended Yale College and New York University, where she earned a Ph.D. in British literature. Before becoming a novelist, she taught classes on writing and fairy tales. With her husband and son, Gita divides her time between a village in Massachusetts and the coast of Maine. ENCHANTÉE is her debut novel.
 

Wow. This book was incredible.

I've been anticipating this book ever since it was announced nearly two years ago, and I had built up such high expectations for it which I never expected to be fulfilled. And they completely were - this book blew me away.

I love historical fantasy books - some of my favourites are A Great and Terrible Beauty and the His Fair Assassins series, and so I was really hoping this book would be in the same vein. But it was something else entirely, something magical and enchanting beautifully woven. I was hooked from the first page, with the beautiful descriptions and rich writing style.

Camille, her sister Sophie and the other characters introduced in this book were so relatable and believably flawed. Camille is such a likable protagonist, and her aristocratic friends were such an amazing group - I wanted to dive into the the pages and spend time with them all. Even the villains in the book were complex and I loved the way we were introduced to the characters.

There is only one word I can think of to describe the story and that word is MAGICAL. I devoured the opulence of the palace and the brewing revolution in France, and Camille's part in it all. I don't want to say too much in terms of the plot for fear of spoiling the surprise, but the magic system in this book is so imaginative and well-thought out.

As soon as I finished this one, I wanted to start all over again, but I settled for pre-ordering a finished copy. It came this week and it is SO. BEAUTIFUL. Look at the prettiness! *shoves book into your hands*.




Love,

Friday, 25 January 2019

Blog Tour: The Cold is In Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale






Hi everyone! Good morning and welcome to my stop on The Cold Is In Her Bones Blog Tour! This is the first ever blog tour I have ever participated in, but when the opportunity came up I couln't help but sign up. I'm so excited for this book! So without further ado, here is my post and interview for the tour. Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post, and maybe we can buddy read this one together if you win. Enjoy!




40240290Milla knows two things to be true: Demons are real, and fear will keep her safe.

Milla’s whole world is her family’s farm. She is never allowed to travel to the village and her only friend is her beloved older brother, Niklas. When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret she’s forbidden to share: The village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random, and the townspeople live in terror of who it will come for next.

Now, it seems, the demon has come for Iris. When Iris is captured and imprisoned with other possessed girls, Milla leaves home to rescue her and break the curse forever. Her only company on the journey is a terrible new secret of her own: Milla is changing, too, and may soon be a demon herself.
 



Praise for THE COLD IS IN HER BONES

"A dark and enchanting tale about friendship, pain, revenge, and the power of love, The Cold Is in Her Bones is the perfect read for Greek mythology fans and YA readers alike." ―Bustle

“Fiercely written and beautifully feminist, The Cold is in Her Bones reminds us of the power of loyalty and love in the face of ignorance and fear. I loved this tale of dangerous girls with wild hair and tangled hearts.” ―Lisa Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Magician

“A fresh, eerily compelling tale of betrayal, revenge, and the ties that bind. When van Arsdale paints a world, you can feel the fog against your skin.” ―Elly Blake, New York Times bestselling author of The Frostblood Saga  


 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Peternelle van Arsdale grew up in Newark, New Jersey, where she attended public school through the eighth grade. After that she attended three high schools in three different towns in four years, was deeply unpopular, and counted the seconds until graduation. She majored in English literature at Bryn Mawr College, and then landed in book publishing, thinking it was a good way to be paid to do what she liked to do anyway (she was only partly wrong). She worked her way up from editorial assistant to executive editor of adult fiction and nonfiction, and eventually struck out on her own as an independent editor.

Her first young adult novel, The Beast Is an Animal, is being developed by Amazon Studios for a feature film produced by Ridley Scott’s Scott Free and directed by Bert & Bertie. Her essays have been published by LitHub, Hypable.com, and Culturefly, and her short fiction has been published by The Whitefish Review.

Her second novel, The Cold is in Her Bones , will be published in January 2019. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she continues to edit and is at work on her third novel.

PHOTO CREDIT: ELENA SEIBERT 

WEBSITE: http://www.peternellevanarsdale.com/ 
TWITTER: @peternelleva
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15087311.Peternelle_van_Arsdale
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/PeternellevanArsdaleauthor/
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/peternellevanarsdale/







Hi Peternelle, it's a pleasure to have you here on the blog. I'm excited to read your gorgeous book and I have a couple of questions about it so that the readers of the blog can learn more. 
  
So, your story is a Medusa retelling! What made you want to retell this captivating myth? In what ways is your book similar to the story, and in what ways is it a little bit different?
The Medusa myth has inspired me for years, largely because we’re so unfamiliar with how Medusa became monstrous, and the degree to which she was victimized and punished for the sins of another. When I started thinking about that story, it led me to the idea of vengeance and how we can carry our hurt around with us and then inflict it on others. So I would say that the Medusa story inspired my novel generally—and certainly the snakes inspired me directly—but I’ve leapt from it and gone places that (at least overtly) have little similarity to the myth.
It seems like Milla and Iris have a really close bond and that friendship is a key theme of the story. What made you decide to do this? Did any of your real life experiences in friendships influence how you wrote the relationship between the two girls?
Yes, certainly. I have some very close female friends who have gotten me through difficult times and without whom my life would be unrecognizable. And I fully believe that those relationships are as intimate and powerful and life-changing as any romantic tie could be. So I wanted to write a novel in which the friendship between two women was the focal point, as opposed to a romance. I wanted the reader not even to miss—or to notice—that there wasn’t a romance in the traditional sense because the emotions were so strong and powerful. I hope I succeeded!

I read that you were a book editor before becoming a writer and I would love to know how this has influenced your writing and editing process and if you felt having a knowledge of the ins-and-outs of publishing was useful in becoming published yourself.


It’s certainly affected me as a writer—though I don’t know if it’s helped or hindered. I edit myself ruthlessly as I go. I’m incapable of writing a sentence and leaving it alone. I read everything I write repeatedly and fine-tune. The benefit of that is my drafts tend to be very clean and I don’t require a lot of line-editing. The downside is that I’m slow. But it’s the only way I know how to be. I would say that having some knowledge of publishing is helpful, but it’s now been years since I worked on the inside of a publisher and everything changes so quickly that I feel as lost as any newbie at this point. Also, it’s definitely the case that when it’s your own book you’re just as panic-stricken and freaked out as any writer who has never seen the inside of a publishing house


Finally, a completely superficial (and yet important!) question! The cover of The Cold is In Her Bones is so beautiful and haunting. How would you say the cover portrays the book? Are there any hidden details in the cover?

Ah, yes! I think it’s beautiful too, but I confess to having a bias against making my women and girls look too perfect and manicured (literally). So if you look closely at the cover you’ll see that her nails are a little dirty and ragged—that little bit of imperfection was really important to me. I also asked that that they insert some wasps, which are a significant part of the novel.


Giveaway is open Internationally | Must be 13+ to Enter
Winner will receive a Set of Book from Peternelle van Arsdale (THE COLD IS IN HER BONES and THE BEAST IS AN ANIMAL).

 




Love,

Monday, 14 January 2019

Mini Reviews #11


Hi everyone! Welcome to mini reviews, the series on my blog where I review books in a couple of sentences to give you my thoughts and recommendations. I often save my full reviews for books I've absolutely adored and have a lot to say on, and write about the other book, which I have more criticisms for here. Nevertheless, there's a new favourite in here if you read on... here's my thoughts on some of the books I've read recently.
33382313Aisha Un-Haad would do anything for her family. When her brother contracts a plague, she knows her janitor's salary isn't enough to fund his treatment. So she volunteers to become a Scela, a mechanically enhanced soldier sworn to protect and serve the governing body of the Fleet, the collective of starships they call home. If Aisha can survive the harrowing modifications and earn an elite place in the Scela ranks, she may be able to save her brother.

Key Tanaka awakens in a Scela body with only hazy memories of her life before. She knows she's from the privileged end of the Fleet, but she has no recollection of why she chose to give up a life of luxury to become a hulking cyborg soldier. If she can make it through the training, she might have a shot at recovering her missing past.

In a unit of new recruits vying for top placement, Aisha's and Key's paths collide, and the two must learn to work together--a tall order for girls from opposite ends of the Fleet. But a rebellion is stirring, pitting those who yearn for independence from the Fleet against a government struggling to maintain unity.

With violence brewing and dark secrets surfacing, Aisha and Key find themselves questioning their loyalties. They will have to put aside their differences, though, if they want to keep humanity from tearing itself apart.

 

Quick Thoughts: Overall, my impression having read this book is that there was so much potential, but it sadly fell short for me. I found the characters to be bland and unmemorable, and I struggled to differentiate the two points of view. The world felt poorly developed and honestly, I was never particularly interested in the plot. I found myself just flicking through the pages, waiting to finish, which is never a good sign. There have also been some discussions on harmful content in this book, which you can find in Heather's review here. It just wasn't for me.
35068632
Pride and Prejudice gets remixed in this smart, funny, gorgeous retelling of the classic, starring all characters of color, from Ibi Zoboi, National Book Award finalist and author of American Street.

Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

In a timely update of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, critically acclaimed author Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic.

 
Quick Thoughts:This was a cute and fun retelling of Pride and Prejudice, which I enjoyed reading. My favourite part of this book was the main character Zuri, who was wonderful, and her Brooklyn community. There were some really thoughtful themes too. It wasn't a new favourite, or the most memorable book in the world, but I enjoyed it.


38139409Beware of the woods and the dark, dank deep.

He’ll follow you home, and he won’t let you sleep.


Who are the Sawkill Girls?

Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.

Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.

Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives, a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.

Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires.

Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.

 
Quick Thoughts: This one started so strong, and I was sure I was going to love it, but unfortunately as the book went on, it went in a direction I didn't enjoy so much. I think I just had issues suspending disbelief and understanding the rules and layout of the world, and I wasn't a fan of the ending. I did really appreciate the atmospheric writing and the ace rep however!






35820001Girl Online meets Wild in this emotionally charged story of girl who takes to the wilderness to rediscover herself and escape the superficial persona she created on social media.

Mari Turner’s life is perfect. That is, at least to her thousands of followers who have helped her become an internet starlet. But when she breaks down and posts a video confessing she’s been living a lie—that she isn’t the happy, in-love, inspirational online personality she’s been trying so hard to portray—it goes viral and she receives major backlash. To get away from it all, she makes an impulsive decision: to hike the entire John Muir trail. Mari and her late cousin, Bri, were supposed to do it together, to celebrate their shared eighteenth birthday. But that was before Mari got so wrapped up in her online world that she shut anyone out who questioned its worth—like Bri.

With Bri’s boots and trail diary, a heart full of regret, and a group of strangers that she meets along the way, Mari tries to navigate the difficult terrain of the hike. But the true challenge lies within, as she searches for the way back to the girl she fears may be too lost to find: herself.

.
 
Quick Thoughts: One of Jessi Kirby's books, Things We Know By Heart, is one of my favourite books of all time, so I always have high expectations for Jessi Kirby's books, and they rarely live up to that first book I read. Although I found the story quite slow, I really enjoyed this survival story and particular the characters and relationships in the book - both romantic and friends. It just wasn't a page-turner for me.





36260155The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: when the prince-who-will-be-king comes of age, he must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.

When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, however, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon, or what horrors she has faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome prince, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny to sit on the throne beside him. Ama comes with Emory back to the kingdom of Harding, hailed as the new princess, welcomed to the court.

However, as soon as her first night falls, she begins to realize that not all is as it seems, that there is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows–and that the greatest threats to her life may not be behind her, but here, in front of her.

 
Quick Thoughts: The first thing that needs to be said about this book is that it is very mature and graphic in places. There are some really difficult and upsetting moments, and I wouldn't recommend it for younger readers. Having said that, every single piece of this felt necessary and important. I felt like this book could be a light in the dark for so many people who have experienced abuse, and it really is needed. The writing was beautiful and introspective and I learnt so much from being inside Ama's head. If you think you are okay reading about some more difficult topics, I would strongly recommend this dark, gritty and frightening fairytale.






38244358

This is the story of a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she's found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.

For anyone . . .







Quick Thoughts: Wow. Wow, wow, wow. I really didn't think I could love this series any more than I already do, but then I read this book. It might even be my favourite in the series. I don't want to give too much away about this one, because I feel it's one of those books that's best to go into blind, but this was honestly one of the best crafted stories I've read in a long time. The world-building was masterful, the characters lovable, and the story heart wrenching. Please read this book!

Have you guys read any of these? Please let me know!
Love,