TTT: Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added To My TBR

Top Ten Tuesday’s are a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish in which anyone who participates creates a Top Ten list of books based on a weekly prompt they provide (the list for advance topics can be found by clicking the link above).  For my own sanity my Top Ten Tuesdays will always be Top Twelve Tuesdays because the graphics just look better that way ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is inspired by Jamie of The Perpetual Page Turner’s New to the Queue blog series.  For this challenge I just went to my Goodreads page and chose 10 books that I’ve added to my TBR recently that I haven’t necessarily talked about a lot on my blog yet.  I didn’t include the next book in a series if I haven’t already read the previous book and many of my choices don’t have covers yet.  In fact, many of my picks are so new that you can’t even preorder them yet!

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The Books

1 – Untitled (Fallen Isles Trilogy #1) by Jodi Meadows – This new trilogy by Jodi Meadows sound really intriguing.  There isn’t too much information about it anywhere yet but it does involve illegal dragon trafficking so that sounds pretty promising. (Goodreads)

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2 – Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor – As soon as I heard Laini Taylor would be releasing a new book this year I immediately added it to my TBR.  I don’t even need to know what this is about to be excited for it!  (Goodreads)

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3 – Three Dark Crowns (Untitled #1) by Kendare Blake – In 2015 I fell in love with Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood duology and I’m so excited to read everything else she writes.  I heard Kendare talk about her new series on the First Draft podcast and I literally paused in the middle so I could add it to my Goodreads TBR.  It’s inspired by bees and it follows three sisters on a remote island but only one of them is destined to be queen.  In order to claim their throne, they’re tasked with assassinating the other two sisters. (Goodreads)

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4 – Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell – Rainbow Rowell is an auto buy author for me so when I heard about Kindred Spirits there was no question I would be getting it as soon as humanly possible.  Kindred Spirits is a novella being released for World Book Day (it’s only 96 pages!) and there is no information about it at all but I know I’m going to love it. (Goodreads)

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5 – Caraval by Stephanie Garber (Untitled #1) – I heard about this book yesterday while watching Alexa’s ALA book haul and as soon as she said it’s pitched as the YA The Night Circus I added it to my shelf.  Upon reading more about it, the description also says that it’s great for fans of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series so basically I am the target market for this magical new series.  (Goodreads)Heart separator6 – The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee – This is another one that sold me when I heard that it’s a sort of novelization of Mozart’s The Magic Flute.  It’s a bit out of my element as it’s adult historical fiction (it takes place in the 18th century in France) but because I loved Passenger by Alexandra Bracken so much, I’m much more willing to branch out into this new – to – me genre. (Goodreads)Heart separator7 – Wayfarer (Passenger #2) by Alexandra Bracken – Speaking of Passenger… this is an obvious recent add.  I am so in love with the story in the first book and the cliffhanger at the end had me wishing for 2017 because I literally need the conclusion to this duology soon or I don’t know how I can possibly go on! (Time travel + Pirates = BAE) (Goodreads)Heart separator8 – Windwitch (The Witchlands #2) by Susan Dennard – Another sequel I’ll be waiting forever for is the follow up to Susan Dennard’s new series, The Witchlands, the first book being Truthwitch (which is the Spines With Wines book of the month!).  Since the first book just debuted two weeks ago, we have no synopsis yet for book 2 but I NEED it.  Truthwitch was an incredible first book that laid the groundwork for what is sure to be an epic fantasy series.  (Goodreads)Heart separator

9 – Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff – Nevernight is the first book in a new fantasy series by Jay Kristoff who is one half of the author duo behind Illuminae.  What immediately peaked my interest in Nevernight is that it’s a revenge story.  There’s something about revenge stories where the main character dedicates their entire life to exacting revenge against people who’ve wronged their families that really gets me.  I think it’s because of my undying love of The Count of Monte Cristo.  (Goodreads)Heart separator

10 – The Cruel Prince (TheFolk of Air #1) by Holly Black – This new book by Holly Black isn’t due out until 2018 so it’ll be quite a long wait, but I’m excited that Holly is revisiting the world of the Fae.  The Goodreads description has a quote by Holly stating that “this series will delve deeper into the strange, glittering, malicious courts of Faerie than I’ve gone before.”  Yes, please! (Goodreads)

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Wish List Worthy: Wave 2 of the Harry Potter Funko Pop Vinyl Figures

Yes yes yes yes yes! Although Luna Lovegood is still noticeably absent from the new lineup despite being included in the preliminary concept sketches for Wave 2, I am still over the moon about the new figures!  Funko has even announced a March 15th release date for the new pops so we won’t be waiting that long!  I’m most excited to add Draco, Sirius and Dobby to my Harry Potter collection but I’m sure I’ll be picking up Yule Ball Hermione and Ron too because they’re an OTP of mine.  The dementor is admittedly frightening but I suppose my Voldemort needs at least one supporter on the shelf.  Hopefully the other characters included in the concept art (Luna, Neville, Triwizard Harry and Gambon Dumbledore) will make up the next wave.  Plus, I’m still hoping for a Ginny, Hedwig, Hogwarts Express, Fleur Delacour, Bellatrix LeStrange, Mad-Eye Moody, Cedric Diggory, and the list goes on and on!

(All images via Pop Vinyl)

Not Included in Wave 2

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Makeup Monday: Too Faced Peanut Butter & Jelly Eye-Shadow Palette

I feel like I often end up writing about Too Faced products on Makeup Monday’s but their products are my favorites so I can’t help it!  One of the newest additions to their line of cosmetics is the Peanut Butter and Jelly palette.  It’s a new mini palette and it’s actually scented!  This palette is exclusive to Ulta and it’s being released in February.  It has a total of 9 eye shadow shades- Jelly, Peanut Brittle and Bananas being my favorites- and I love love love the package design.  It looks like a kawaii PB&J emoji.  The Peanut Butter and Jelly eyeshadow palette will retail for $36 so it’s also pretty affordable which is nice!

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BookTube: Name That Book Character Challenge Ft. Cassie & Melissa

Earlier this year Cassie, Melissa and I teamed up to film the Name That Book Character Challenge and today I’m finally getting around to posting it.  You may recognize the girls from our first video, the Back Words Book Challenge, or from the Spines With Wines Book Club (or just from my instagram since they are my Threadsisters after all<3).  In this video, we each write a book characters name on a post-it note and take turns guessing which character we are.  I’d always wanted to try this game after seeing it played in Inglorious Bastards so it was super fun to add a bookish twist to it and play with my best friends!

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BookTube: Most Disappointing Books of 2015

I read a lot of books in 2015.  Luckily, a lot of them became new favorites but there were a few that just didn’t do it for me.  I did film this video after the Spines With Wines Book Club (we also have a Goodreads group now!) so I completely forgot to include The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige in my list but it absolutely belongs there right before Winterspell. Good job Kristin!  Here’s my written review if you’re curious about why it should be on my list.  What were some books you read last year that you found disappointing?

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BookTube: Top 10 Book Covers of 2015

In today’s BookTube video I wanted to show off some of my favorite book covers for books published in 2015.  I can never resist a good cover so I thought these should be recognized and appreciated for just how attractive they are.  What were some of your favorite book covers of last year?

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Waiting on Wednesday: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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 Heartless by Marissa Meyer.  The show stopping cover was released last week exclusively on EW.com along with an excerpt of the upcoming novel.  I’m so excited to see what Marissa Meyer has in store for us next plus we already know how great she is at fairytale retellings.  Heartless is a prequel to Alice in Wonderland and it tells the story of the Queen of Hearts prior to when she started ordering “off with his / her/ their/ your head!” in Wonderland.  You can read the excerpt here.

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Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king’s marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans. (via Goodreads)

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TTT: Top Ten 2015 Contemporary Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn’t

Top Ten Tuesday’s are a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish in which anyone who participates creates a Top Ten list of books based on a weekly prompt they provide (the list for advance topics can be found by clicking the link above).  For my own sanity my Top Ten Tuesdays will always be Top Twelve Tuesdays because the graphics just look better that way ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I realized that a lot of the books I included in my Top 16 Books I Want to Read in 2016 are from the fantasy genre and while that’s helpful for completing the Flight of Fantasy Reading Challenge, I didn’t want to be repetitive in my second Top Ten Tuesday post.  I decided to make this list specifically about contemporary novels that were released in 2015 that I didn’t get to read but meant to.

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The Books

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne
Three Day Summer by Sarvenaz Tash
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydeu
Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
99 Days by Katie Cotugno
Nowhere but Here (Thunder Road) by Katie McGarry

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Tea & Book Chat: Firefight by Brandon Sanderson (The Reckoners #2)

**Warning! If you haven’t read Steelheart which is the first book in the trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, there will be spoilers ahead.  You can read my review of the first book instead if you haven’t started the series yet!**

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson is the second book in The Reckoner’s trilogy by Brandon Sanderson.  I read (and LOVED) Steelheart almost exactly one year ago and the only reason I have waited so long to start Firefight is because the conclusion, Calamity, is coming out next month and I really didn’t want to have to wait between books.  Firefight picks up a short time after Steelheart ended (there is a short story between the two called Mitosis which I ended up reading when I was 3 chapters into Firefight because it kept being mentioned.  It ruined Mitosis’s weakness for me which may be why I didn’t love the short story as much as I could have if I had gone in blind).  David and Prof end up taking a trip to Babilar or Babylon Restored which is a borough in Manhattan after a High Epic named Regalia sends some of her cronies to Newcago to target The Reckoners.

The world of Babilar is really interesting! In Newcago our characters were surrounded by steel and everything had a very industrial feel whereas in Babilar, there’s water and neon spray paint illuminating the city everywhere.  The culture between the people from each town is very unique and there are more free spirited folks living out in the open in Babilar.  They even mingle with Epics at parties which is a pretty shocking change for someone like David.  A large portion of the town also pray to an Epic that no one has ever seen named Dawnslight who is often regarded as an urban legend.  Dawnslight is said to provide the city with food, light and other essential components.  On the way to Babilar we also catch a glimpse of the ruin and devastation that land outside of major cities has faced in the age of the Epics.  There are barely even any roads left for the characters to safely travel on and they have to be super careful about drawing attention to themselves.

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David’s character went through a very natural phase for someone in his position during Firefight.  His lifelong goal had been to exact revenge on Steelheart, the epic who killed his father, and he managed to complete that in the first book.  Now that Steelheart is gone, David feels a little bit lost and he’s not totally sure what his life objective is.  This is a feeling that many 19 year olds experience on a much lesser scale so to see his future fears amplified in Firefight is something I really enjoyed.  David lived a very isolated life so he is full of quirks and not everyone takes him as seriously as they should.  In Firefight David begins to question his beliefs on Epics and because of his age, he has a difficult time persuading the more senior members of the team.  He also deals with newfound fame (the population starts referring to him as Steelslayer) and it causes other Epics to actively seek him out whereas The Reckoners had always operated more secretly in the past.  As if that all wasn’t enough, David is also trying to handle his feelings for Megan, the Epic who worked as an undercover part of their team in Steelheart.  In Firefight we also meet a new team of Reckoner’s stationed in Babilar.  There’s the ice cold Val, the inexperienced but eager Mizzy and the gentle giant Exel.  David, Tia and Prof leave Abraham and Colby behind and try to work with the new trio to figure out Regalia’s scheme but they’re suspicious and not overly excited to welcome new Reckoners.

Final Thoughts:  Firefight by Brandon Sanderson is the second book in The Reckoners trilogy and the plot is so different and refreshing that it really took the story in a completely unexpected direction without detracting from the first book.  Firefight is full of character development, especially for David who completed his life’s mission at 19 years old, and there is a finite shift in the relationships between The Reckoner’s team members.  Theories begin being examined on a more philosophical level  and our main villain, Regalia, is the anti-Steelheart.  She’s been executing a plan since page one which doesn’t become clear until much later and the journey to the end is wild.  If you enjoy stories about superheroes and you liked Steelheart you’re basically obligated to continue on with Firefight.  I’m just sad I don’t have Calamity in my hands this very moment!

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They told David it was impossible–that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet, Steelheart–invincible, immortal, unconquerable–is dead. And he died by David’s hand.

Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life more simple. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And there’s no one in Newcago who can give him the answers he needs.

Babylon Restored, the old borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic, Regalia, David is sure Babylon Restored will lead him to what he needs to find. And while entering another city oppressed by a High Epic despot is a gamble, David’s willing to risk it. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David’s heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic–Firefight. And he’s willing to go on a quest darker, and more dangerous even, than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers. (via Goodreads)

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BookTube: January TBR

Now that we’re a full week into January (and the TBR Takedown 3.0 reading challenge has ended) I’ve posted my TBR for the rest of January and it’s quite ambitious if I do say so myself! My TBR is full of fantasy reads (there’s something about Winter that makes me crave high fantasy), many of which I wanted to read in 2015 but never had a chance to.  What’re you planning on reading this month?

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Kristin

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