Received a package in the mail this weekend.

I haven’t read this book and I don’t have a copy yet, but it sounds interesting.  I went ahead and signed up for the street team and I’m hoping it’s as good as it sounds.

I received mail from MacMillan this weekend with this fun stuff as part of the street team.

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Hoping to get through the chapter sampler soon.

Berserker by Emmy Laybourne is being released October 10th 2017 by Feiwel & Friends.

Summary from Goodreads:

Are Hanne’s powers a gift from the old Norse gods, or a curse?

Her brother Stieg swears their powers are a gift from the old gods, but Hanne Hemstad knows she is truly cursed. It’s not Stieg’s fault that their father is dead, their mother has left, and their brother Knut has been accused of a crime he didn’t commit.

No, the fault lies with Hanne and her inability to control her murderous “gift”–she is a Berserker. When someone she loves is threatened, she flies into a killing state. The siblings must leave Norway for the American frontier or risk being brought to justice.

Aided by a young cowboy who agrees to be their guide, Hanne and her siblings use their powers to survive the perilous trail, where blizzards, wild animals, and vicious bounty hunters await.

Will they be able to reach their uncle, the one man Hanne believes may be able to teach her how to control her drive to kill? With Berserker, Emmy Laybourne, the author of Monument 14, presents her vision of an American west studded with Viking glory.

WWW Wednesday

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Hosted by Taking On A World Of Words

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

 

I am currently reading The Third Kiss by Kat Colmer.

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I recently finished Geekerella by Ashley Poston.

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The next book I’ll be reading is History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera.

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Leave me the link to yours in the comments or just let me know your answers.

Review of digital ARC Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

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Summary from Goodreads:

I Needed to Win.
They Needed to Die.

Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class—and the nobles who destroyed their home.

When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand—the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears—Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.

But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed Mask of Shadows.  I’m pretty sure this is the first book I’ve read with a gender fluid character and I felt that it really added to the story.  Sal watched everyone he/she knew die and has wanted revenge ever since.  Sal decides to try out to be Opal, a member of the queen’s “The Left Hand”.  They are the queen’s assassins and the other Opal died while on an assignment.  Sal was living life as a thief up until then, not able to read or write, but very skilled.  While on their last heist, Sal meets a lady whom they feel something different for.   Sal even let her keep a piece of jewelry. Sal found the paper about the Left Hand auditions, kills someone for the entry, and leaves.

While trying out for The Left Hand, Sal is competing against 22 others.  Sal is 23 (fitting since it’s my favorite number).  The audition includes learning different skills, both physical and mental.  I really liked the poison lessons.  Sal goes in for a lesson to learn how to read and write and finds Elise, the same girl he stole from.  They flirt and she remembered who Sal was right away.

“I was Sallot Leon-one of the last children of Nacea, orphan and street fighter, highway thiefand Twenty Three.”

I loved Sal, but I really found myself loving Maud, the maid.  She was funny and a great side character.  Elise was bold and smart, always a good combo.  I also really enjoyed the rest of The Left Hand.

I won’t ruin anything for anyone who hasn’t read this yet.  Sal competes.  There is a lot of death, some backstabbing, a little romance, and revenge.

I gave this book 4 stars.  It was a little confusing with all the names and places, but the story was fast paced with a lot of action.

I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley for review. Mask of Shadows will be released August 29th 2017 by Sourcesbooks Fire.

WWW Wednesday July 26, 2017

Decided to try this one out from Sam at Taking on a World of Words .

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The three W’s are:  What are you currently reading?  What did you just finish reading? What are you reading next?

I am currently reading Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. 

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This is the story of Tiger Lily and Peter Pan that starts off before Wendy ends up in Neverland.  I’m almost halfway through and Wendy hasn’t arrived yet.  So far there is a friendship growing between Tiger Lily and Peter Pan, but it’s starting to hint at more.

The last book I finished was Invictus by Ryan Graudin.

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Invictus is a time travel book about a boy named Far and his crew on the Invictus.  Far works for a shady guy to go back in time and steal items that wouldn’t be missed.  When on the Titanic, he runs into another time travel thief, Eliot, who has a huge surprise for Far about his past and the future of the world.  Full review of Invictus.

I’m honestly not sure what I’m reading next.  I rarely pick ahead of time unless I have an ARC waiting to be read and reviewed.  I’m currently waiting on a few to be approved, so I won’t pick my next read until I finish Tiger Lily.  I also like to wait and see what my mood is at the time.  

Did you do WWW Wednesday?  If so, post your link in the comments so I can see your answers, too. If you’ve read any of these books, share your thoughts (no spoilers please) below.

 

 

ARC Review of Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Invictus was the first book I’ve read by Ryan Graudin and I’m really glad I gave it a try. The book was a little slow for me at times, but overall, it was really interesting. I absolutely loved the time travel parts.

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Invictus takes place hundreds of years in the future.  Faraway (Far) McCarthy is training to be a time traveler.  During his testing, there are always issues with his date of birth. Far’s mom gave birth to him on a ship while they were in void between time.  She did the one thing she wasn’t supposed to do during time travel, interacted with someone from the past.  Not only did she speak to a gladiator in 95 AD, she got pregnant by him.  During Far’s final exam, he is spotted by Marie Antionette in the Sim.  She winks at him and Far is positive his Sim was hacked, but he fails.

Far receives a message to meet someone about his future.  He goes and ends up signing on to go into the past to steal things no one will miss.  Far not only wants to time travel, but he’s hoping to go on missions to find his missing mom.  He chooses the ship’s name, Invictus, and his crew.  His cousin Imogen was my favorite character in this book.  She is the ship’s historian and is very colorful and happy.  She also has a pet on the ship, a red panda. Far’s friend Gram is the engineer and his girlfriend Priya is the medic.

The Invictus crew goes back in time for heists and all go well until they get to the Titanic. Things are weird with the numbers and they land four hours later than they have planned.  While looking for a book, Far spies another time traveler from the future who steals the book before him.  Eliot ends up on the Invictus and says she wants to work with the crew.  However, Eliot is there for reasons Far and his crew will have a hard time understanding. They must find a way to make things right because Far should have never been born. 

I haven’t really read books on time travel before.  Historical fiction and science fiction are genres I’m pretty with.  I don’t read them often.  But this book ended up being better than I expected.  I enjoyed the writing and details and will definitely be picking up another book from the author in the near future.  I loved the future slang.  The swear words were hashing great. 

I received a digital arc from Netgalley for review.  It did not influence me in any way. Invictus will be released September 26, 2017. 

This Week’s Book Haul

I was able to pick up eight new books this week.  

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I received two books from OwlCrate.  The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee was the July OwlCrate book.  The OwlCrate Jr was The Unicorn in the Barn by Jacqueline K Ogburn. If you’re not already subscribed, I would highly recommend checking them out. 

I purchased two books from Book Depository.  What I love about Book Depository is that I can purchase UK editions and I get free shipping.  This time I bought the 20th Anniversary Edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Hufflepuff edition) and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

I was able to visit a Half Price Books yesterday and picked up two books I had been looking for.  Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson and Endsinger by Jay Kristoff.  I’m pretty picky when buying used books, but both of these were in very good condition with no writing or marks.

My last purchase yesterday was from Barnes & Noble.  I had a few 20% off coupons to use and found two books I wanted that were already marked down 20% and I saved an extra 10% with my membership card.  I got two books for just over $25.  Both books are by Victoria Aveyard.  A signed first edition of Glass Sword and the b&n exclusive edition of King’s Cage.

No, I probably didn’t need to buy books since I have so many here to read.  But I’m a book addict.  I’ll be going to a book signing tomorrow night with Becky Albertalli and Angie Thomas.  I already have their books, but I’m sure I will pick up a couple books while I’m at Anderson’s Bookshop.  

What have you purchased lately?  Comment below and let me know. 

Help me choose what to read for the Make Me Read It Readathon

I saw this readathon on Kourtni’s blog Kourtnireads and decided to try it out, too.  This readathon is by theinnocentsmiley and teaandtitles and runs from August 6th through August 13th.  #MakeMeRead

“Look at the books you own, either physical, e-book or ones you’ve borrowed from the library and pick out a few you really want to read, or feel like you should read. It’s up to you how many you pick, personally I’d pick a few more than you expect to be able to read in a week. Example: if you think you’ll only read two, pick out five books or if you think you can read seven, pick out ten.
 
Make a list of these books on your blog, or make a video, or a Goodreads shelf or post a picture on Instagram—whatever is easiest for you. Then get friends, other bloggers/booktubers/bookstagrammers etc. to vote on which books you HAVE to read.
 
When the readathon comes along, you read the books in the order of most votes. For example, if one book gets 10 votes—you read that first, then the one that got 7 and so on. If there’s a tie, then it’s your preference. The goal is to read as many as possible.” 
 
  
You get to choose what I will be reading.  Please vote on this poll and I will attempt to read the top 3 books chosen during this time period.  
If you are doing the readathon, comment below and let me know.
I will close the voting for this around August 3rd and announce the winners in a new blog.  

Rapid Fire Book Tag

This is my first time trying a book tag.  I found this one from Thrice Read who posted it today.

Question 1 : E-Book or Physical Book?

It really depends on my mood.  I prefer to have the physical book, but sometimes it’s easier to carry my kindle with me.

Question 2 : Paperback or Hardback?

Hardback for most.  I still have paperbacks, but I try to buy the hardcover whenever I can find it. 

Question 3 : Online or In-Store Book Shopping?

I love shopping in stores.  There’s something about going and touching the physical book. But I do buy a lot online.  It’s just cheaper and I find a lot of great deals.  

Question 4 : Trilogies or Series?

Trilogy for most.  I don’t like waiting for new books to come out and it’s easier to binge read a trilogy.  I do like series, too, though.

Question 5 : Heroes or Villains?

Depends on the book.  I tend to like reading about the villains more, but I tend to cheer on the good guys. 

Question 6 : A book you want everyone to read?

Everything?  I don’t know that I can pick just one, so I’ll go with my favorite read this year.  Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab (make sure you read This Savage Song first).  

Question 7 : Recommend an underrated book?

I don’t pay a ton of attention to ratings, but one that probably isn’t well known is Pushing The Boundaries by Stacey Trombly.  There was something about that book that really got to me. 

Question 8 : The last book you finished?

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (go read it now!) 

Question 9 :The Last Book(s) You Bought?

The Harry Potter 20th anniversary edition (hufflepuff)

Question 10 : Weirdest Thing You’ve Used as a Bookmark?

A piece of paper towel or toilet paper.

Question 11 : Used Books: Yes or No?

Only if they’re in excellent condition.  I’m super picky. 

Question 12 : Top Three Favourite Genres?

YA Fantasy, contemporary and mystery/thrillers. 

Question 13 : Borrow or Buy?

Definitely buy.

Question 14 : Characters or Plot?

It depends on the genre, but I do usually need to enjoy the characters to enjoy the plot.

Question 15 : Long or Short Books?

I like the ones that are 300-400 pages, but I will read any size if the book is good.  The long books are a pain to carry around though.

Question 16 : Long or Short Chapters?

Short. 

Question 17 : Name The First Three Books You Think Of…

This Savage Song, The Upside of Unrequited, The Hate U Give

Question 18 : Books That Makes You Laugh or Cry?

Depends on my mood.  I love ones that do both.

Question 19 : Our World or Fictional Worlds?

Fictional worlds. 

Question 20 : Audiobooks: Yes or No?

I’m not sure yet.  Going to try some out soon and see if I like them or not.  I think I’ll be picky.

Question 21 : Do You Ever Judge a Book by its Cover?

Guilty

Question 22 : Book to Movie or Book to TV Adaptations?

Usually movie, but I’m ok with a TV series for a long book series.

Question 23 : A Movie or TV-Show You Preferred to its Book?

I don’t know if I have one. 

Question 24 : Series or Standalone’s?

Both, but I really love series.  I like to find myself in another world and get attached to the characters. 

I don’t really have anyone to tag since I just started this blog.  But if you do it, please comment below and let me know so I can read it. 

July 2017 OwlCrate Box

The theme for July’s OwlCrate box is Wanderlust.  I received my box today and wanted to share it with you.

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There is always a card inside that has the theme with picture on one side and a list of everything in the box on the other side.  I didn’t take an individual picture of that.  The box also comes with a card that gives a sneak peek of next month’s box. 

The first thing in the box was an Owlcrate exclusive backpack inspired by The Lord of the Rings.

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The next item is an owl luggage tag created by Mudpuppy.  (This is also in the Owlcrate Jr box this month.)

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This month had an adorable Newt Scamander keychain by Funko.  This was especially cool for me since I recently found out that I’m a Hufflepuff. 

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I was really excited to find out that there was something inspired by A Darker Shade of Magic.  This is a pocket mirror designed by Miss Phi.

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One of my favorite items in this box is this gorgeous art print designed by Shailey Ann Designs.  It’s inspired by Looking For Alaska.

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Another cute item included in this box is this pocket journal from Ooly.  There were 8 different styles sent out.  Which one did you get?  Comment below.

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As always, there is a pin that comes in each box.

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Finally there is the book.  This month’s selection is The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice And Virtue by Mackenzi Lee.  The cover is an Owlcrate exclusive.  The book came with a letter from the author, a signed book plate, and a beautiful map.

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is about a young lord, his best friend, and sister. They go on a road trip through 18th century Europe.  Everything I’ve heard about this book so far has been really positive.  The most common comment I’ve read is that it’s laugh out loud funny.  I’m really looking forward to reading it.  I put off purchasing it since I was pretty sure it was this month’s book choice. 

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This was my second month for my OwlCrate subscription and I can’t say enough good things about them.  The book choices have been good, they send a ton of great bookish items, and the box arrives quickly.

Next month’s theme is Something Wicked This Way Comes.  If you’d like to subscribe, please click on my referral link here.  https://owlcrate.com/refer/Krist-KDSWOMHL

You can find more about the author, Mackenzi Lee on her website.  http://www.mackenzilee.com/

 

Review of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Wow!  Just wow!  This book really lived up to the hype.  How is this a debut?  Not only is this probably the best YA book of the year, it’s probably one of the best books of any genre.  An instant favorite for me.  I can’t say enough about it.

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This book is intense.  I think it should be required reading in all high schools.  Yes, I know there is a lot of swearing.  But let’s be honest.  Kids hear it in school every single day. They hear worse.  So please get past that.  As a parent, I would have let my daughter read this in school.  I would have encouraged it.

The Hate U Give is about a sixteen year old girl named Starr.  I loved her so much.  Starr lives in The Gardens which is an inner city filled with gangs and shootings all the time. Her dad used to be in a gang and spent three years in jail while she was young.  He was one of the few that was able to get out and he wanted better for his kids.   Starr saw her best friend get shot and die right in front of her when she was ten.  After that, her mom convinced her dad to put the kids in a private school forty five minutes away.  Starr is one of the few black kids in that school.  Because of this, she convinces herself to be two Starrs.  The Starr at Williamson speaks properly and is always worried about being too ghetto.  She’s dating a white boy, Chris, and keeps her two lives separate.

“I’ve taught myself to speak with two different voices and only say certain things around certain people. I’ve mastered it.”

“I never know which Starr I should be. I can use some slang, but not too much slang, some attitude, but not too much attitude, so I’m not a “sassy black girl.” I have to watch what I say and how I say it, but I can’t sound “white.” Shit”

Starr meets up with an old friend, Khalil.  A shooting breaks out during this party and Khalil and Starr leave in his car.  A cop ends up pulling them over and shoots Khalil right in front of Starr.  Khalil was unarmed and was just checking on Starr to make sure she was ok.

“Starr-Starr, you do whatever they tell you to do,” he said. “Keep your hands visible. Don’t make any sudden moves. Only speak when they speak to you.”

I won’t pretend to know much about cities and gang life.  I was born in the midwest.  A white farm town.  But this book made me want to do something.  It made me angry and sad.  It’s just that powerful.

The rest of the book is about what happens after the shooting. Starr must decide if she is brave enough to speak out.  She wants justice, but also knows there hardly ever is.  She finds herself torn between her two very different worlds.  We also see how her family struggles along with others in the community.

“I’ve seen it happen over and over again: a black person gets killed just for being black, and all hell breaks loose. I’ve Tweeted RIP hashtags, reblogged pictures on Tumblr, and signed every petition out there. I always said that if I saw it happen to somebody, I would have the loudest voice, making sure the world knew what went down.
Now I am that person, and I’m too afraid to speak.”

This is such an important story.  It covers black lives matter and 2 Pac.  But it’s so much more.  It’s a story about family, community, love, poverty, gang life, friendship, and activism.   It’s about having a voice and making a difference.

I’m not doing this justice with my review.  Just please go read this book.