The Traitor’s Game **ARC Review** (Spoiler Free)

Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen | Published: February 27, 2018 by Scholastic Press | Series: The Traitor’s Game #1 | Length: 388 pages | Genre: YA Fantasy  | Source: I got this book at Yallfest.

For three years Kestra has been in exile, but that doesn’t stop her from being dragged into her father’s political plots.  With him being the right hand man of the king, Lord Endrick, Kestra is very valuable.  While on her way back to Woodcourt a band of rebels attack Kestra’s entourage and blackmail Kestra into finding the Oden Blade for them.  This dagger is rumored to be the only weapon that can kill Lord Endrick, but it has been lost for years.  In the group of rebels a boy named Simon is tasked with being her protector and to see their mission through no matter the cost.  As he struggles to fulfill his orders more and more secrets emerge that none of them see coming.  With motives shifting left and right Kestra must find a way to not only protect herself but also try to find out who she’s fighting for.

Last year while I was at Yallfest, I was headed to the Cassandra Clare signing and saw that they were having an ARC drop for this book with the author actually signing the copies as they were handed out.  I really wanted one, but didn’t think I’d have time to stop before the signing.  So I went to the signing and then quick hopped in line and got to meet the author and get this ARC signed as well.  It was amazing and Jennifer was so sweet.  I loved this book!!  While it does tend to follow some of the typical YA tropes, Jennifer A. Neilsen is able to put a spin on them to make them her own.  I really like Kestra’s character and how much internal struggle she has and how much her character grows throughout the book.  She is honestly just a stubborn girl who wants her father’s love, but is thrown into a crazy plan to get a legendary weapon for a group of rebels she thought were vanquished.  Some of those plot twists had me gasping and my boyfriend asking me what happened to her now lol.  There was a tiny part in the end that kinda had me a bit annoyed with how the same conversation seemed to keep happening over and over, but it was very miniscule.  I so cannot wait for the next book in the series to come out.  I need to know what happens to Kestra and Simon and where their stories will go.  All in all, this is an amazing book and I highly recommend it to anyone that likes a good YA fantasy book.

I gave this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads.


10 Bookish Resolutions

I know it’s a bit past January, but it is still early on in the year so I’ve been thinking of my reading goals and resolutions for this year.  I have a bunch of things I want to accomplish bookish wise this year.  So without further a do, here are my bookish goals for 2018.

1) 75 Books

Every year I try to set a reading goal and I strive to read that many books in that year.  Two years ago I set my goal to 60 and passed that goal to read 65 books.  So last year I set my goal at 75 books, but I fell way short of that goal due to a massive reading slump.  This year I plan on kicking that reading slump in the teeth and blasting this reading goal out of the water!

2) At Least 2-3 Blog Posts Per Week

I really want to get to posting on my blog more often.  I love being able to talk about books with y’all, and I love how amazing and supportive the book blogging community is.  Ever since getting into this two years ago I’ve loved getting to be a part of new things and see my blog grow to what it is today.  I cannot wait to see what 2018 has in store for me and my blog so I better get on a better posting schedule.

3) Finish Book Series

I have this nasty habit of reading the first few books of a series and not reading the last one.  Whether it just be from my disappointment of the second book slump or the fact that I don’t want to leave that world, I just have a hard time finishing series(I still have not read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  That series will never end for me! lol.).  This year I plan on cracking down and finishing the 3-4 series that I can think of.  And if I start any more series this year I will finish them no matter what.  I’m kinda sick of looking at my shelves and seeing all these series I haven’t finished.

4) Outline 2 Books

For years I have had tons of book ideas that have stuck with me and grow from time to time when I’m doing mindless work and my brain wanders into those worlds.  I currently have eight separate playlists on my phone for music that I would listen to while writing books.  My goal this year is to get at least 2 of those books outlined and possibly get a few drafts written.  I honestly have no idea if this will happen, but I’ve always wanted to write a book or two and I can’t if I don’t ever start.  I used to write so much in high school and I desperately miss it so I’m hoping that this year I can dive back into writing and get my creative juices flowing again.

5) Post on Instagram 4+ Times A Week

I’ve had my bookstagram up and going for about 2 1/2 years now, but since my big reading slump I just haven’t had any motivation to post.  I guess since I wasn’t reading as much I felt like I didn’t have much to talk about and post there.  But this year, even if I don’t post every day, I would like to post a bit more regularly than I do now.  My bookstagram helped me make so many bookish friends and I want to make even more this year!

6) Take More Bookish Pictures

This kinda goes right along with my last goal.  Not only do I have and Instagram that I have to take pictures for, but I have my blog where I also have to have pictures up.  I’ve seen a lot of blogs where people post some graphic that they made, but I really want to put my knowledge of photography and my love of books together so I can post my own pictures on my blog.  And to do so I need to take more bookish photos.

7) Read 50 Pages Per Day

This does not seem like it would be too hard for an avid reader to do, but with working two jobs and getting distracted by social media and having a social life it is so hard to read even this little amount of pages daily.  I used to be able to read 100 pages and not bat an eye, but that was before I had a boyfriend that wanted to go do things and more of my own horses.  I have a few plans to keep this goal going I just have to put them in play first lol.

8) Read More Trilogies

Last year I went through my selves and reorganized my trilogies and found that I have a staggering amount that I haven’t read yet.  I’m one of those readers that loves to binge a series all at once so I end up collecting the books and not reading them until the whole series is out.  But by the time all the books are out I’m either reading some other series or book so I end up leaving the series unread and shaming myself for it.  This year, between reading some review copies, I would really like to tackle some of my trilogies so I don’t feel as bad when looking at my shelf.

9) Read More Thought Provoking Books

Being a Ravenclaw, I love to learn and stretch my thinking anytime that I possibly can.  This year I would like to read more books that make me stop and think about things and put things into perspective.  I’ve even bought a few memoirs to read to help me with this goal.

10) Get 5,000 Visitors to my blog

At the end of December I had just over 800 visitors to my blog that whole year.  I think that’s pretty good for rarely posting and going through a massive reading slump.  This year with posting regularly and growing my following I would love to get at least 5,000 views to my blog this year.  Not only will that mean more amazing opportunities for my blog, but I also get to talk to even more book lovers such as myself!

I am so excited for this year that I can barely contain it!!  While I tried not to set goals that were too high due to what happened last year, I set quite a few reasonable goals that I cannot wait to accomplish.  Heres to 2018 and all of the exciting bookish things to come! 🙂

January Wrap Up ’18

I’m so proud of myself for reading four books while being so freaking busy last month.  Between work and my other responsibilities I didn’t think I’d get through more than 2 books, but I doubled that!  While I’m still not quite up to what I was reading wise last year, I’m still pretty dang proud!

1) Everless by: Sara Holland 4/5 Stars

This was one of my most anticipated YA fantasy books of 2018 and it did not disappoint!  I really enjoyed this book, and the concept of how time comes from their blood and is how they pay for things is incredible.  I did find it just a tad predictable for myself, but I do read a lot of YA fantasy, but this book was very well written.  Needless to say, I am impatiently awaiting the second book as I write this.

2) City of Glass by: Cassandra Clare 5/5 Stars

I don’t even know how many times I’ve read this book now.  It’s got to be up to five or six times, but each time I always find more reasons to love this series.  I don’t think I will ever tire of rereading these books and now I’m one book closer to catching up to my boyfriend and his reread of the series :).

3) The Hazel Wood by: Melissa Albert 3/5 Stars

I got this book through a trade on Twitter back a little while ago.  I wasn’t really sure if I was going to read this book or not, but because it was close to the release date I decided to pick it up.  I really liked all the dark fairy tale elements in this book.  My full review will be up shortly if you’d like to read more of my thoughts on this book.

4) Warcross by: Marie Lu 5/5 Stars

Since I’ve been doing a ton of driving again, I decided to get Warcross to listen to on my commutes.  I read Warcross back in August of last year, but when I read it I rushed through it and felt like I didn’t really get to experience it as much as I had hoped to.  So not only did I want to read or listen to it again, but I wanted to do so while not on a time constraint.  Needless to say, I still loved this book so much and am desperately awaiting the sequel!

All in all, this was a pretty good reading month for me!  Be on the lookout for my reviews of these amazing books!  2018 is looking like it’s going to be a great reading year for me!

January Book Haul ’18

I cannot belive that it is 2018 already!!  It seems like 2017 just started a few months ago.  With this start of the new year there are so many great books I am looking forward to getting and reading.  Here are the first few books that I got in the year 2018.

1) Tess of the Road by: Rachel Hartman

I have yet to read Serafina by this same author which is also set in the same world as this book, but I really wanted to get my hands on a copy of this book so I could read and review it for y’all.  I don’t know much about this book other than there are lots of dragons and you cannot go wrong with dragons!

2) Timekeeper by: Tara Sim

I honestly don’t know much about this book.  I know it’s set in an alternative London and there are aspects of time that pertain to the story.  But this book was a total cover buy for me.  It’s so shiny!!

3-6) The Cruel Prince by: Holly Black

I had no idea I would get this many copies of this book.  Oops!  I preordered the Barnes & Noble edition soon after I traded my ARC just so I would have a copy of the book.  Then this book came in my January Fairyloot and Owlcrate.  So now I have 3 strikingly beautiful editions of this amazing book!  #sorrynotsorry

7) The Cruelty by: Scott Bergstrom

I bought this book because I got an ARC of the second book in this series at Yallfest, but did not have the first one yet.  I’m hoping to read and review both of these books for y’all this year.

8) Night of Cake & Puppets by: Laini Taylor

This book is a companion novella to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series.  Shame on me for not reading that series yet, but I want to so I can read this novella and look at all the beautiful illustrations!

9) These Rebel Waves  by: Sarah Raasch

I swear I hyperventilated when I got this book!  Sarah is one of my favorite authors, and I loved her Snow Like Ashes series so freaking much.  When I heard she had a new book coming out I just knew I had to get my hands on a copy of it!  There are pirates and adventures galore!  Y’all have no idea how badly I want to read this book lol.

10) Unearthed by: Amie Kaufman & Meagen Spooner

I got this book in my PageHabit box for the month of January.  The box was actually curated by Amie and Maegen so it came with an annotated copy of their book and two other books recommended by them.  I really loved the Starbound trilogy by them so I’m really hoping that I like this book as well.

11) The Cage by: Megan Shepherd

This book also came in mt PageHabit box.  In this book some people are taken to another planet and kept in a zoo like environment.  This book sounds really interesting!  I may pick it up soon as I really have want to read some good sci-fi books lately.

12) The Hazel Wood by: Melissa Albert

This book has been on my radar since I heard it was coming out last year.  I was so grateful that I was able to get an advanced copy of this book to read!  I really enjoyed this book, but it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting.  My full review on this book will be posted in the next few days.

13) Thunderhead by: Neal Shusterman

For Christmas my lovely boyfriend got me Scythe and I also got a gift card to Barnes & Noble so I knew I just had to pick up a copy of the second book.  I cannot wait to get to this series!  I’ve heard so many people say really great things about these books and it has my super hyped to read them now.

14) The Radical Element edited by: Jessica Spotswood

I may have just gotten this book because one of my favorite authors has a short story in it.  But seriously though, this book is filled with stories from multiple different authors about BA females.  It’s just a plus that I get some more Old West writing from Erin Bowman :).

15) Furyborn by: Claire Legrand

HOLY CRAP!  I legit cannot believe I have this book in my hands right now!  I have been desperately wanting a copy of this book for the longest time and when I found out that it was in the December Fairyloot box, which I had to skip due to financial constraint, I was a little miffed.  But thanks to some amazing people on Twitter I ended up getting this book in a trade.  This book is massive!  I’m sure this is going to be another amazing fantasy novel that I am not going to want to put down.

This was an amazing start to the year book wise!  I got so many new books that I cannot wait to read, and there are still so many more that have yet to come out!  Here’s to hoping this continues to be an amazing book year for everyone!

American Panda **ARC Review** (Spoiler Free)

Author: Gloria Chao | Published: February 6, 2018 by Simon Pulse | Series: N/A | Length: 304 Pages | Genre: YA Contemporary | Source: I got this book while at Yallfest.

After graduating high school a year early, Mei Lu starts her freshman year at MIT.  She’s right on track to fulfill her predetermined medical career, marry another Taiwanese doctor, and pop out a litter of kids.  Not wanting to disappoint her parents, Mei hides her germophobia and her crush on a non-Taiwanese boy named Darren Takahashi.  When she reconnects with her brother, Xing, who has been shunned due to his relationship with the wrong girl, she starts to wonder if the secrets are worth it. Amidst the guilt and accumulating secrets Mei must learn to be herself even if things get hard.

First off, I want to point out that this book has some language that may not be suitable for some younger readers.

This was such a cute and funny book!  I have had a few situations similar to Mei that almost cost me a couple important relationships in my life so I really understand her struggle first hand.  I Also liked learning a bit more about the Taiwanese culture as I don’t really know too much about it in the first place.  I was a tad bit disappointed that this book did not go a bit more into the college aspect.  Mei does attend some classes, but the book mostly takes place on the weekends with her parents or even off campus all together.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that there is another YA book that has a college setting, I just wish it had just a smidge more college than it does.  Other than that this book was really good and I cannot wait to read something more by Gloria in the future!

I gave this book 3.5/5 stars on Goodreads.

10 Books I Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn’t Get To (And Totally Plan To Get To In 2018)

Looking back on 2017 there were so many books that I wanted to read, but just couldn’t get to.  My darn reading slump is a major cause for a lot of headaches when it comes to my lack of reading last year.  Either way, here is a list of the top 10 books that I wanted to read last year and am most certainly getting to in 2018.

1) The Fallen Kingdom by: Elizabeth May

This is the final book in the Falconer trilogy.  This series is filled with steampunk elements, SCOTLAND(which is one of my most favorite places ever) ferocious fae, and a girl who hunts them.  I absolutely loved the first two books in this series!!  I read them on my trip to and from BookCon, and I just could not get enough of them!  Right before I finished the second book I got a bunch of review copies that I had to read, so I just put the third book on the back burner and haven’t picked it up since.  This year I plan on finishing this series so I can have more Kiaran in my life!

2) Frost Like Night by: Sara Raasch

This is the final book in the Snow Like Ashes trilogy(I’m sensing a pattern here).  I read the first two book in this series two years ago when I really started getting back into reading, but then had to wait until later that year for the final book to come out.  When it finally did hit shelves I was busy reading other books, so it just sat on my shelf until I realized a few months ago that I hadn’t read it yet.  I borrowed and listened to the first two books as audiobooks through my library, so I have no excuse to not hop right into this book this year.  But I still think I am seeing a trend here with not finishing series.

3) Ringer by: Lauren Oliver

I got this book way back in June at BookCon and I even read Replica, but I haven’t picked up this book yet.  I really did enjoy Replica and how the book was formatted.  So I’m hoping that I like the second book in the series as well.

4) Hunting Prince Dracula by: Kerri Maniscalco

I also got this book at BookCon, but I actually got to meet Kerri and get it signed and personalized as well.  She is so sweet!  Stalking Jack the Ripper was one of my favorite reads for 2016, and I was over the moon when I got the chance to get an ARC of the second book.  But shame on me for not reading it!  I definitely want to get to it this year and get to read some more historical fiction.

5) Starfish by: Akemi Dawn Bowman

I originally got this book on Netgalley, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get this ARC in a trade so I could have a physical copy.  The person that I traded with said that this book was really really good which got my hopes up really high.  But with having a few other books to read and review and just plain not having time, this poor book got pushed to the side.  I hope to read this book this year and see for myself if it is as good as my friend says it is.

6) Invictus by: Ryan Graudin

I was so excited when I got an ARC copy of this book, but much like the book above, time and other reading got in the way of me getting to this one last year.  This book reminds me a tad bit of Passenger.  I’m just hoping the time element it where the similarities die though.

7) Nyxia by: Scott Reintgen

I got this book on Netgalley a while ago and then got a UK ARC in my Illumicrate box over the summer.  This book sounded so good, and I could really use a lot more sci-fi reads in my TBR for 2018 so this book will be perfect!  With so many other sci-fi books coming out this year I may just have to have a designated sci-fi month just so I can binge on one of my favorite genres.

8) Zero Repeat Forever by: Gabrielle Prendergast

A boy who only knows his rank and a girl whose boyfriend is killed in a Nahx invasion are thrown together in an unforgiving world.  The two much learn to work together if they plan on making out of it alive.  This book just sounds like a rollercoaster ride of events that I just cannot wait to read!  Now I just need to get around to reading it lol.

9) The Language of Thorns by: Leigh Bardugo

I freaked out like crazy when I first heard about this book being published.  I was so excited to be back in the Grisha world even if the characters weren’t the same from the other books.  In a crazy twist of events(ordering too many subscription boxes and preordering it), I ended up with two UK versions and one US version.  And each one is different.  I really don’t need this many copies, but they’re all different so it works out that I can keep them.

10) Renegades by: Marissa Meyer

At Yallfest last year I was able to meet Marissa and get both copies that I own of this book signed by her (if you want to read about my crazy Yallfest shenanigans and how I ended up with two copies of Renegades you can find that here).  I don’t know too much about the book itself, but everything that I have read by Marissa has been amazing so I don’t think this book with disappoint.

I am desperately hoping that 2018 is a better reading year for me.  Not only do I have these books that I’d like to read, but there are so many books that are coming out this year that I want to read.  I can’t afford to be in a reading slump with all of these amazing books out there that I have yet to read!  Enough of my rambling lol.

Are there any books that you didn’t get to last year that you wan to get to this year?