Caraval

27883214Caraval

Author: Stephanie Garber
Series: Caraval, #1
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: 1/31/17
Pages: 416
Source: ARC

Read All About It:
Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . . 

Welcome, welcome to Caraval—Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever. Continue reading

Best of 2016

2016 was not a huge reading year for me. I found a lot of the books I read were kind of “catch up” from books that came out in 2015 or earlier, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t great reads! A lot of my time was also spent completing readings for class or for my internship at a literary agency. Since this is my first “Best of” post I want to state that my lists don’t include anything I read that hasn’t been released yet. For example, I read Caraval July 2016 and it is definitely my favorite book of the year, but it doesn’t come out until January 2017 so it will be considered for my Best of 2017 post. These books are in a loose order from my most favorite to fifth favorite of the year.

And I Darken by Kiersten White

This gender-bent retelling of Vlad the Impaler was an instant love for me once I finished it. I need the next one already! The richly developed and intertwined characters are amazing and addictive. Plus, Lada is so feisty that even with her flaws she easily grew on me. White does a fantastic job of building the world. I found myself forgetting that the story is historically based to an extent. I wrote a whole review on it in case you want multiple paragraphs of me gushing about it.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Maddie has grown up being confined to her home due to a disease that has left her allergic to being outside. She’s accepted this as life until a new neighbor makes her decide to question it all. This is such a quick and cute read that is beautifully written. It came out in 2015 and is now becoming a movie, so if you haven’t gotten to it yet I highly recommend catching up! Since it is one of my favorites, I wrote a review on this book too.

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Every birthday comes with a new date she isn’t expected to live until, but when Aza dies on her 16th birthday she finds herself on a ship in the sky she has been dreaming of instead of actually dead. From there, as you can imagine, adventure ensues. This book’s atmosphere just felt so different to me. I loved the magical, weightless feeling I got from reading Magonia. It was like I was up in the sky with Aza trying to learn about this new world. Dahvana Headley included so many little details that made the birds and Aza’s illness come to life. I adored this book!

Furiously Happy by Jennifer Lawson

Whenever I need to laugh out loud or feel a bit saner, this is going to be my go-to book. Furiously Happy is a collection of essays Lawson wrote about dealing with her mental illness and the craziness that is her life and family. There were raccoon pictures throughout, which automatically makes books better in my opinion. This is an adult book, but is certainly something older teens could pick up and enjoy. Since this is on my favorites list, I of course have a review on it for me to shamelessly plug.

Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

When Frances survives the hijacking and sinking of the cruise ship she is on, she has to take on the identity of her best friend that died on the ship because the only two other people who survived are lying about what happened that night. Determined to get the truth out there, this thriller seemed to capture the traumatic experiences a ship wreck survivor would experience in a completely realistic way. The entire time I was reading this it was playing out like an amazing suspense movie in my head. Frances is the master of manipulation and it makes for a great revenge novel.

Thanks for reading about my 2016 favorites! Were any of these on your favorite lists or past lists? What was your favorite book this year?

Everything, Everything

18692431Everything, Everything

Author: Nicola Yoon
Series: Stand-alone
Publisher: Random House Children’s Book
Publication Date: 9/1/2015
Pages: 320
Source: Borrowed from library

Read All About It:
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.  Continue reading

Red Queen

9780062310637_p0_v2_s192x300Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen, #1
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 2/10/2015
Pages: 400
Source: Purchased

Read All About It:
Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard’s sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king’s palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal. Continue reading

Graceling

9780152063962_p0_v1_s192x300Graceling

Author:  Kristin Cashore
Series: Graceling Realm Series, #1
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: 10/01/2008
Pages: 480
Source: Purchased

Read All About It:
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more. Continue reading