GIVEAWAY: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

I discovered Passenger by Alexandra Bracken in the weeks leading up to BEA last May and I’ve been eagerly awaiting it’s release ever since.  As I said in this video, two of the main factors that really drew me to this book are 1) time travel and 2) pirates.  I had been hesitant to read the ARC I waited in line for (for hours I might add) because I heard that an updated draft had already been completed that would make many changes to the book’s final published story.  I decided to table it and wait until I could read the book Alexandra Bracken intended the reader to read.  Little did I know that an updated copy would be showing up at my doorstep a couple of months early!  Passenger is my most anticipated read of 2016 and I feel so blessed to be afforded the opportunity to check it out in 2015.  But the most exciting part of this story is that Disney Hyperion is also allowing me to giveaway a copy of Alexandra Bracken’s Passenger to one lucky blog reader!

If you’re like me and you feel like you can’t wait until January 5th for the official release, Disney has been kind enough to provide us with an e-book sampler to tide us over until then.

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About the Book

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles, but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods–a powerful family in the Colonies–and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, his passenger, can find. In order to protect her, Nick must ensure she brings it back to them–whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.

GIVEAWAY

One (1) copy of Passenger by Alexandra Bracken will be given away.  Prize is provided by Disney-Hyperion and will ship early January following the release of the book.  Open to US addresses only.

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PRE-ORDER LINKS

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Learn More

Learn more at un-requiredreading.com

Visit AlexandraBracken.com

Follow Disney-Hyperion on Twitter and Instagram

Follow Alex Bracken on Twitter and Instagram

#Passenger

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Kristin

Cross Country Couture: Not Your Dolls

My best friend Melissa moved to Texas last month and I’ve been missing her like crazy ever since.  Just because there are a few states between us doesn’t mean we don’t still talk every single day (for most of the day really) and bond over things like books, fashion and boys.  We’ve always known since the first day we met that our friendship is the type that lasts forever so we’ve been trying to think of ways to make an effort to “hang out” despite the distance (also see the Spines with Wines Book Club).  Since  we’re not physically able to see each other as frequently, we decided to start a post series called Cross Country Couture where we agree on an item of clothing we both want, each do a photoshoot in it and share our results.  Our first post features the Not Your Doll vintage tee by Wildfox Couture.  Since we’re both HUGE fans of Valley of the Dolls, this shirt inspired our whole idea since we simply adore the aesthetic<3

Along with today’s post, Melissa is relaunching her blog (finally!).  She’s witty and wonderful and you should go read everything she’s ever posted immediately, including, of course, the other half of the Not Your Dolls photoshoot.

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Kristin

Waiting on Wednesday: The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly series hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly awaiting.  This week I’m choosing The Raven King which is the fourth and final installment in The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater.  I recently read and was obsessed with Blue Lily, Lily Blue and it ended on such a major cliffhanger that I NEED the next one.  So much happened and there’s still so much story to be resolved.  I am absolutely in this book for the characters and Blue and Gansey are on OTP of mine.  The cover was just released yesterday and it’s every bit as gorgeous as the last.  The brushstrokes in that deer are a thing of beauty.

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The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

In a starred review for Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Kirkus Reviews declared: “Expect this truly one-of-a-kind series to come to a thundering close.” (via Goodreads)

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Kristin

BookTube: Spines With Wines Book Club: The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

I teamed up with Melissa and Cassie for a new book club that we’ve named Spines with Wines.  This month we kicked it off by reading The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich because we wanted a creepy Halloween read. You can check out our live show below! Next month we’ll be reading Winter by Marissa Meyer which is the conclusion to The Lunar Chronicles series.  We’ll be announcing the liveshow date over Twitter when we finalize our date and time.

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Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

This book is EVERYTHING.  Carry On by Rainbow Rowell is an anomaly of a book for even getting the opportunity to be published.  The story’s inception happened in the popular YA contemporary novel Fangirl (also by Rowell – also a favorite of mine and you can read my review here LINK) about a fanfic author named Cath who has serious feels for the characters in the Simon Snow series.  Cath writes slash fanfic about Simon Snow (very similar to Harry Potter) and Baz (very similar to Draco Malfoy) and Rainbow’s newest book Carry On picks up in their eighth year at Watford as the supposed final novel in the series.  Us as readers have insight into their world through Cath’s Fangirl fanfic and knowledge of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

I had already fallen in love with Simon and Baz through Cath’s intense love for them so while I was skeptical about Carry On, I was always planning on reading it and hopefully enjoying it as an extension of Fangirl.  Carry On ended up being so much more than that.  It’s a story in it’s own right and I’m amazed at how Rowell was able to pick up the story as if seven others books has already been published and read by fans picking up this one.  The worldbuilding is phenomenal and I never felt confused about the prior events.  There is a healthy amount of exposition within the first 50 pages or so and it’s engaging enough to keep the reader hooked until her original story begins to shine through.  When people told me that The Magicians by Lev Grossman was Harry Potter for adults, I was severely disappointed (read my review here) LINK.  Carry Onis actually Harry Potter for adults.  The characters are in their 8th year of schooling so the situations they face and their dialogue is more mature in their nature.  I really really really wish that there would be more books in this series because I loved it so very much.

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For each character in Carry On, there is a definitive parallel counterpart in Harry Potter.  In addition to Simon and Baz who I previously compared, we also have The Mage (Dumbledore), Ebb (Hagrid), Penelope (a Ron Weasley / Hermione Granger mash up) and the Humdrum (Voldemort).  One of the best aspects of Rainbow Rowell’s writing is her ability to capture the feelings of romance between characters and Carry On is no exception.  My heart was melting when I devoured certain scenes and it broke my heart each time I had to put the book down to go to work.  The characters are compelling and well developed and all of the outside knowledge the reader goes into with just enhances the experience.  The characters spend their time in the story unraveling a small mystery in addition to something much bigger involving several Mage wars.  I don’t want to give anything at all away about the plot because it’s so perfect that it deserves to be experienced for the first time while reading it through.

Final Thoughts: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell is a literary dream come  true for anyone who spent their youth reading and writing fanfiction (especially Harry Potter fanfiction).  The characters will capture your heart and the romance will have you swooning beyond belief.  Rainbow Rowell gets it.  It’s not necessary to have read Fangirl first in order to enjoy Carry On but I did very much appreciate having fallen in love with Simon and Baz through Cath’s eyes before Carry On was ever announced.  Carry On is a really fun, snarky, fantasy read and I would recommend it to anyone looking for adult Harry Potter.

Rating 6

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters. (via Goodreads)

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Kristin

BookTube: MEGA Book Haul – October

So, I hadn’t posted an August or September book haul and books have kind of, er, piled up.  It resulted in such a very long haul that I decided to spilt it into two videos otherwise it would’ve been almost a half hour long! Funnily enough, my camera did not actually die at the end of the first video but my memory card sure filled up so that seemed like the most natural stopping point.  This was a really great few months for fandom books and I really love this haul<3 What new books have you been picking up lately?

Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #3)

**Warning! If you haven’t read The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves which are the first and second books in the Raven Cycle quartet by Maggie Stiefvater, there will be spoilers ahead.  You can read my review of the first and second books if you’re not caught up on the series yet.**

Blue Lily, Lily Blue is the third book in the Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater and it’s the second to last installment we’ll have with Gansey, Ronan, Adam, Noah and Blue.  Unlike the previous books in the series, the first being The Raven Boys and the second being The Dream Thieves, I was immediately hooked on the story.  I read Blue Lily, Lily Blue at a much quicker pace than the others and I enjoyed how much occurs in each chapter instead of waiting until the end for a big payoff (although don’t worry, there is a major thing that happens that has me basically dying for book 4).

The biggest draw to the story are easily the characters that Maggie Stiefvater crafted.  Their friendship is so familiar and real that it’s easy to immerse yourself in their tale.  The world in Henrietta could very well be our own with a hint of more supernatural activity.  The relationships between the Raven Boys are so sweet and while their actions are subtle, you truly get a feel for how much of a family these boys are.  Blue has an internal monologue about mid-way through thr book where she thinks about how each person in their Glendower tomb hunter squad is obsessed with each other even though they don’t necessarily say it out loud.  I think those are some of the most meaningful relationships.  I’ve been a hardcore Gansey and Blue shipper since book one but Blue Lily, Lily Blue really sealed the deal on their relationship for me.  It’s such a well woven combination of innocence, passion and intrigue and my heart breaks a little more each time they’re near each other because of Blue’s first experience with Gansey’s spirit on the ley line.  I really don’t know what I’m going to do with myself if anything happens to him.

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As I stated before, Blue Lily, Lily Blue is much more action packed than the first two books.  Now that Maggie has fully fleshed out the world in Henrietta and has conveyed how strong the relationship is between the Raven Boys and Blue, much more of this installment was able to be dedicated to events occurring.  There was constantly something keeping me on the edge of my seat and everything just seemed to move along at a much quicker pace.  There are still a ton of questions left to be answered and a cliffhanger that I’m having trouble handling.  I can definitely see myself re-reading the series before the fourth books debuts because it’s the kind of story that you’ll get something new out of every time you dive in.  Because there are such subtleties in Stiefvater’s writing, I’m looking forward to enjoying the things I’ve missed now that I have more overall knowledge of what’s happening.

Final Thoughts:  Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater is the flawless third installment of The Raven Cycle quartet.  Any reader who has been following the story will be delighted to immerse themselves back in the world of Henrietta and piece together more (but not even close to all) of the legend of Glendower.  I didn’t mention Maura, Calla, Persephone and Mr. Gray in my review because I’m just so enthralled with the Raven Boys and Blue, but their story is eventful and heartbreaking as well.  If you thought the pace of the first two books were too slow, I would definitely encourage you not to give up on the series because you’ll get constant the action and answers you’re craving in Blue Lily, Lily Blue.

Rating 5

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel. (via Goodreads)

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Kristin

BookTube: Top 5 Wednesday: Halloween Recommendations

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday category is Halloween recommendations which is appropriate since Halloween is only 3 days away! For some reason my subconscious decided to type decorations instead of recommendations in the first sentence which shows much being festive is always on my mind on some level so that’s normal.  Are there any specific books that you recommend for Halloween?  Doing my video has given me the desire to re-read some of Neil Gaiman’s books<3

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Kristin

Waiting on Wednesday: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly series hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly awaiting.  This week I’m choosing This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab which finally had it’s big cover reveal last week!  I love Victoria Schwab and every single thing she’s written so this picking a book this week was really a no-brainer for me.  I preordered it the minute it went up and I can’t wait for it to come in the mail.  It’s full of monsters and it follows a pair of friends who battle them together.  It sounds really exciting but in all honesty, the “by Victoria Schwab” is what sold me :-)

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The city of Verity has been overrun with monsters, born from the worst of human evil. In North Verity, the Corsai and the Malchai run free. Under the rule of Callum Harker, the monsters kill any human who has not paid for protection. In the South, Henry Flynn hunts the monsters who cross the border into his territory, aided by the most dangerous and darkest monsters of them all—the Sunai, dark creatures who use music to steal their victim’s souls.

As one of only three Sunai in existence, August Flynn has always wanted to play a bigger role in the war between the north and the south. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate Harker, daughter of the leader of North Verity, August jumps on it.
When Kate discovers August’s secret, the pair find themselves running for their lives and battling monsters from both sides of the wall. As the city dissolves into chaos, it’s up to them to foster a peace between monsters and humans.

A unique, fast-paced adventure that looks at the monsters we face every day—including the monster within. (via Goodreads)

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Kristin

BookTube: Creatures of the Night Book Tag

Hello and happy almost Halloween!! I was tagged by Tiffany from About to Read for the Creatures of the Night Book Tag.  I really wanted to do this one so I’m glad that she tagged me!  This book tag involves giving recommendations based on different types of supernatural creatures such as vampires, angels, ghosts etc.

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Kristin

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