The Way the Light Bends Blog Tour **ARC Review** (Spoiler Free)

Author: Cordelia Jensen | Published: March 27, 2018 by Philomel Books | Series: N/A | Length: 390 Pages| Genre: YA Contemporary | Source: I received this book from Philomel Books in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

Virtual twins Linc and Holly were once extremely close. But while artistic, creative Linc is her parents’ daughter biologically, it’s smart, popular Holly, adopted from Ghana as a baby, who exemplifies the family’s high-achieving model of academic success.  Linc is desperate to pursue photography, to find a place of belonging, and for her family to accept her for who she is, despite her surgeon mother’s constant disapproval and her growing distance from Holly. So when she comes up with a plan to use her photography interests and skills to do better in school–via a project based on Seneca Village, a long-gone village in the space that now holds Central Park, where all inhabitants, regardless of race, lived together harmoniously–Linc is excited and determined to prove that her differences are assets, that she has what it takes to make her mother proud. But when a long-buried family secret comes to light, Linc must decide whether her mother’s love is worth obtaining.  A novel in verse that challenges the way we think about family and belonging.

Review:

First off, I want to say a huge thank you to Philomel Books and Penguin Teen for the amazing opportunity to read this book.  I was so ecstatic when I was asked to read and review this book!  I had my eye on this book from the moment I had first heard of it.  Now, after having read the book, I cannot say enough great things about it!  With its lovely free verse this book reminds me a lot of the Ellen Hopkins books that I used to read way back in high school.  The was so much emotion that was conveyed through the free verse that you might not have seen if this book was written in a normal format.  I really connected with the character of Linc as most of my hobbies (reading, photography, horseback riding, etc.) are not shared by my parents and sometimes they just didn’t understand my want to know more and do more in those hobbies.  Although my parents were a bit less harsh than hers and they actually let me pursue the things I loved.  I did struggle a bit in school like Linc, but not as much as she did.  All of the characters seem so realistic in this book!  At first a few seemed “too good”, but you later see that under that facade they have flaws and wants just like everyone else.  Another thing that I absolutely adored were all the photography elements in this book.  Like Linc, I absolutely love photography and it was amazing to see how much photography was implemented into the text.

Overall, I adored this book!  If you are a big fan of Ellen Hopkins, love photography, or love an emotional story about a girl trying to find her place in the world, then this is the book for you!

I gave this book 4.5/5 stars on Goodreads.

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Books I’m Looking Forward to In 2018

2018 is filled to the brim with so many new and amazing books coming out!  I don’t ever think there was another year that I was this excited for all the new releases that I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on.  My wallet is really gonna hate me so much lol.

1) Everless by: Sarah Holland (Release Date: Jan 2, 2018)

Ever since I heard talk of this book I have been ridiculously excited for it to come out.  I was so fortunate enough to receive and ARC of this book, and it was absolutely amazing!  The thing I loved most about this book is the time element.  In the kingdom of Sempra, time is their currency and it is taken from their blood and turned into blood irons.  I will link my review as soon as it goes up.

2) Batman: Nightwalker by: Marie Lu (Release Date: Jan 2, 2018)

When I found out that there were going to be books out based on DC Comic heroes I became ecstatic.  I grew up reading those comics and desperately wanted books with the characters I had grown up loving.  I received and ARC of this copy, but I haven’t been able to read it yet, but when I do you can bet I’ll post a review.

3) Gunslinger Girl by: Lyndsay Ely (Release Date: Jan 2, 2018)

Last year at BookCon I got the opportunity to meet Lyndsay and get a signed ARC of this book.  This is another book that I have not had the chance to read yet, but the fact that it is a YA western set in the future has my inner cowgirl bursting with joy!  I need more shootouts at high noon and horseback riding through the wilderness.

4) Unearthed by: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Release Date: Jan 9, 2018)

As of right now the only books I have read by either of these authors is Illuminae and Gemina, but I do own the whole Starbound trilogy and plan to read it soon.  If those two books give me any indication how this sci-fi novel will be, HOLY CRAP, I need to read it!!  I’m a huge fan of sci-fi and this book just sounds like it is going to be absolutely amazing.

5) Obsidio by: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Release Date: March 13, 2018)

This book.  I don’t even know where to start.  This is the third and final book in the Illuminae Files series.  Illuminae and Gemina ripped my heart out and put it back together in pieces so I know this book will do the same.  I’m so nervous to see how the series ends, but after the ending of Gemina I desperately need to get a copy of this book in my hands so I can find out what happens.  I’m really hoping that Amie and Jay do more books together because I don’t know if I could handle them not putting out any more great books like these.

6) Sky In the Deep by: Adrienne Young (Release Date: April 24, 2018)

I was so very lucky to get a copy of this book while at Yallfest last year.  I have not had a chance to read it, but it is very close to the top of my TBR pile.  The thing that really intrigued me about this book is the little snippet on the back cover: “Eelyn’s world is war.  Raised to fight in a generations-old blood feud, her life changes forever when she sees her brother on the battlefield, fighting side by side with the enemy.  The brother she watched die five years ago.”  If that doesn’t make you interested in this book I don’t what will.

7) Ash Princess by: Laura Sebastian (Release Date: April 24, 2018)

At first the drop dead gorgeous cover is what really drew me to this book, but as I read more and more about it I just knew that I had to get it when it did come out.  Thanks to some amazing people I was able to get and ARC of this book in a trade.  I cannot wait to dive into it and let y’all know my thoughts on it!

8) Furyborn by: Claire Legend (Release Date: May 22, 2018)

I wanted this book in the worst way possible, and as soon as I saw that I had missed out on an exclusive Fairyloot copy (gosh darn tiny budget!) I knew I had to try to trade with somebody.  While trying to trade I got a little panicky on if I would actually receive the book or not and I ended up doing a few trades and got two copies of the book (oops! lol).  So now that I have the book I can’t wait to get to it.  Plus the hardcover comes out a few days before my birthday, so guess who’s got two thumbs and is treating herself to this massive book.  Me! 🙂

9) Contagion by: Erin Bowman (Release Date: July 24, 2018)

If you have been around a bit you may already know about my love for Erin and her work, but I may have gone a little overboard with how excited I was that this book is coming out.  I absolutely adored Vengeance Road and Retribution Rails.  I can’t wait to see how Erin’s writing changes from her westerns to sci-fi.  I am a bit nervous though because I have high hopes for this book and I really don’t want to be disappointed.  I cannot thank my friends enough for the ARC copy that I got given to me!!  I seriously have the best friends in the whole wide world!  I was hyperventilating and crying as I opened the package and saw this beauty inside.

10) These Rebel Waves by: Sara Raasch (Release Date: Aug 7, 2018)

A few years back Sara wrote one of my most favorite trilogies to date, and when I found out that she had another book coming out this year I immediately knew I needed it in my hands no matter what.  I watched Sara’s Insta Stories as she was working on this book and OMG! I need to read it like yesterday!!  I’m so happy that again I have an ARC of this book so I can get to it fairly quickly!

11) The Towering Sky by: Katharine McGee (Release Date: Aug 28, 2018)

When I first started The Thousandth Floor series last year I never expected to love it as much as I do now.  I’m not big on drama, but this series left me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happens with who.  This book is the third and final book in the series.  I’m so excited to get my hands on it, but I’m also very sad the series is coming to an end.  I’m going to miss these characters dearly.

12) Queen of Air and Darkness by: Cassandra Clare (Release Date: Dec 4, 2018)

I’ve read Lady Midnight twice now, but I have been holding off on Lord of Shadows because I knew how long of a wait I would have for this hunk of a book.  Cassandra Clare is definitely up there on my list of favorite authors and she just keeps getting better and better with each book that she writes.  Lady Midnight was one of the best books I have read by her so I can only imagine how mind blowingly amazing this book will be when I get my hands on it.  I don’t know how much longer I can wait!

There are so many more books I could talk about, but this list would be miles long.  I feel as if I’ve rambled enough for one post lol.  Let me know in the comments what books you are most excited for this year!

Top 10 Favorite Books of 2017

I know 2017 has been over for a little bit now, but I can’t stop thinking about the books that I read in 2017.  It wasn’t my best year of reading as I had a massive reading slump, but I got to read a bunch of books that I really loved.  Here is a list of my top 10 favorite books of 2017.

1) Crooked Kingdom by: Leigh Bardugo

I read Six of Crows in at the end of 2016 and started out 2017 reading Crooked Kingdom.  Best decision ever!  This is the final book in the Six of Crows duology so I was a tad upset that the series was ending, but man, this book was a thrill ride!  There were so many plot twists that I almost couldn’t keep up with them.  I am a little interested to see if the author does anything more with these characters as she left a bunch of loose ends that could potentially become something later on. You can read my full review on this book here.

2) Here Lies Daniel Tate by: Cristin Terrill

I got an ARC of this book at Yallfest in 2016, but I didn’t decide to read this book until about a month before it was set to publish.  I totally kicked myself for that plan.  This book was amazing to say the least.  It follows a con artist who poses as a boy who went missing years ago and gets taken in by the boy’s family.  As the con artist gets closer to the family he finds that things are not as they seem in this star-studded family.  The plot twists in this book had me constantly on the edge of my seat until the very last page.  You can read my full review of this book here.

3) Gemina by: Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

When Illuminae first came out I was a little apprehensive due to the fact that the book was written in a different format than many of the books that I’ve read before.  I gave it a shot and here we are.  I absolutely love sci-fi and this book has got to be one of my most favorite YA sci-fi novels out there.  There were a bunch of little plot twists in this book, but there was one big one that had me rereading the page to see if that really happened (you know the one if you’ve read the book).

4) The Falconer by: Elizabeth May

Last year I did a ton of driving to work and to go train a few horses so while I was driving I decided to get Audible to listen to some audiobooks.  This is the first book I got to listen to and OH MY GOSH it was amazing!!!  I have always loved Scotland and this book takes place there so it already had bonus points to start out with.  This book also has steam punk elements in it as the main character comes up with and builds her own weapons to fight the bad fae or faeries.  This book also contains one of my top OTPs of all time.  Aileana and Keiren forever!  You can read my full review of The Falconer here.

5) The Thousandth Floor & The Dazzling Heights by: Katharine McGee

Yes, I know this is two books on one number, but I just couldn’t choose between them so I included both.  Either way I did not go into this series expecting to love it as much as I do.  I’m not really into drama or the soap opera type books, but these books are just incredible!  These books also got me with their plot twists.  I desperately need the third book in this series so I can know what happens next.  You can read my review on The Thousandth Floor here and for The Dazzling Heights here.

6) The Dire King by: William Ritter

Ever since I found this series and started reading it a few years back, I was anticipating and dreading this book.  I really fell in love with this Sherlock reimagining and couldn’t bear for this series to come to an end.  The ending of this book hit me so hard in the feels that I was crying over it for days after finishing the book.  I really need to do a reread of this series sometime soon.

7) Warcross by: Marie Lu

I was really late to the party when it came to reading Marie Lu’s books even though I own all of them.  Oops!  I really liked the gamer aspect of this book.  There aren’t too many young adult books that have some type of gaming in them.  I desperately loved this book and cannot wait to get my hands on the next one.  You can read my review of Warcross here.

8) All the Crooked Saints by: Maggie Stiefvater

This was one of my most anticipated read of 2017, and I was ecstatic when I was able to get my hands on an ARC of this book.  I have been reading Maggie’s books since Shiver was just released and with every book she writes her writing just keeps getting better and better!  This book was so filled with hope and tons of deep soul-searching.  I also loved how lyrical the writing was and how the characters were initially described.  I desperately want to visit the desert just because of this book.  I highly recommend this read to anyone who loves a great heart-warming story!

9) Retribution Rails by: Erin Bowman

This was another one of my highly anticipated books of 2017.  I have always loved all things Old West including cowboys, horses, ranches, and standoffs in the middle of town at high noon.  I was so fortunate to get an ARC of this book through a trade and I cannot ever express how thankful I was to the people who made that possible.  This book is everything to me.  Not only is it the best possible companion novel for Vengeance Road, but my inner Old West loving soul has been satisfied.  If you love tales of revenge, action packed fight scenes, and strong female characters look no further than this book.

10) Zenith by: Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

I finished out this amazing reading year with this hunk of a book; 500+ pages of sci-fi goodness.  I got to meet these two lovely ladies at BookCon 2017 and get an ARC of this book signed by the both of them.  With it’s all female crew, the Marauder has to be one of the most BA spaceships in the galaxy.  There were also so many plot twists in this book that left me wanting to stay up all night reading to find out what happened next.  You can read my review of Zenith here.

There were so many more books that I would like to add to this list, but I could go on and on and then this post would be thousands upon thousands of words long of just my ramblings.  And in writing this list I realized I love books with great plot twists that catch me off guard.  All in all, 2017 was a great reading year filled with many overly amazing books and bookish experiences.  I cannot wait to do this list again at the end of this year to see what books I loved.

February Wrap Up ’18

I had a great reading month last month!!  It’s been a while since I’ve actually breathed a sigh of relief when its comes to my reading.  I’m not sure if I just went a little overboard and burned myself out when it comes to reading or if I just wasn’t reading books I liked.  But I think I can confidently say that I and back into the swing of reading.

1) American Panda by: Gloria Chao 3.5/5 Stars

I got this book while I was at Yallfest last year.  I was standing in line and the girl’s mom next to me had grabbed two copies of this book and gave one to me.  I didn’t really know much about the book going into it other than the fact that the main character was Chinese American and was in college.  I really liked this book and thought it was super cute at times.  But I do recommend a bit of a more mature audience as there are some more mature parts to this book.

2) Seraphina by: Rachel Hartman 3/5 Stars

This book had been sitting on my shelf for the longest time, and when I got an ARC of Tess of the Road I figured I would pick up this book to see if I even liked the world that both books are set in.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book!  It put such an interesting spin on dragons that it was a rather interesting read.  After finishing it, I couldn’t wait to dive back into the world and read Tess of the Road.

3) The Traitor’s Game by: Jennifer A. Nielsen 4/5 Stars

While this book has a few typical YA fantasy tropes I really loved it.  Kestra is such a fierce female.  I’m not quite sure how I feel about the possible romance in this book though.  Maybe the next book will help me come to a more concise opinion on their relationship.  There was one part in this book that got a bit on my nerves, but other than that it was really good.

4) Hope Nation Edited by: Rose Brock 4/5 Stars

This is a little sampler that I got while at Yallfest last year.  In it were essays from three authors.  All I have to say is if those essays are just a hint of the hope that is going to be in this book then everyone that reads it will be deeply filled with hope from page one!  I cannot wait to read the rest of the authors essays when this book does come out.

5) Matched by: Ally Condie 4/5 Stars

I read this book quite a few years ago on my Nook, but all I could remember was something about hiking and a match gone wrong and poems.  Anyways, I saw this book on my libraries audiobook list and I figured I would listen to it when I was driving or doing chores.  It was a really interesting read, but I think I found out that I’m over the whole dystopian craze.

Five books!  I still can’t believe I got to five books this past month!  I can’t wait to see what March brings and how many amazing books I’ll get to!!

February Book Haul ’18

Most girls buy clothes or shoes, but I stress buy books.  Oops!  When I found out that I couldn’t go to Texas like I had wanted this year I kinda went a little crazy on my book buying.  Yay for more books, but my already stretched budget is hating me with a passion right now.

1) Reign of the Fallen by: Sarah Glenn Marsh

Necromancers and zombie like creatures called Shades.  This book sounds like it is going to be very interesting to say the least!  Not to mention that the cover is also incredibly beautiful!

2) Shadow and Bone by: Leigh Bardugo

Yes I already own this book, but they came out with new gorgeous covers!  I couldn’t not get at least one.  Eventually I’ll get the other two, but for now this beauty will grace my Leigh Bardugo shelf.

3) Gunslinger Girl by: Lyndsay Ely

I had the opportunity to meet Lyndsay last year at Bookcon and get an ARC of this book signed by her.  While I have yet to actually read this book, I cannot wait to dive into it soon.

4) Everless by: Sarah Holland

I read an ARC of this book back in early January and absolutely loved it.  When I had a little extra cash I just had to get a hard cover copy of this book.

5) Wires and Nerve: Gone Rogue by: Marissa Meyer

I absolutely loved the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa so I just had to have the companion series as well.  I do own the first book, and again I still have to read it.  But at least I have the second book as well. 🙂

6+7) The Hazel Wood by: Melissa Albert

This is another book that I read an ARC of back in January, but I totally did not plan on getting two copies of this book.  The green copy came in my February Owlcrate and the blue and black one came in my February Fairyloot box.  Both are incredibly unique and look beautiful sitting on my shelf.

8) The Queen’s Rising by: Rebecca Ross

I don’t know much about this book as I received it in my February Bookish Box.  I don’t think I want to look up the synopsis and just go into this book blind.

9) Piper by: Jay Asher, Jessica Freeburg

I’ve seen a few people talk about this book recently and I’ve really been in the mood for a quick comic-type read so I picked it up.  I’ve heard many different versions of the Pied Piper and I cannot wait to read this one!

10) Shatter by: Aprilynne Pike

I bought the first book in this series about a year ago just because it takes place in a futuristic version of Versailles where they still wear 18th century style attire.  But there is a drug called Glitter that is lurking in the halls of the palace and Danica’s only way out.  For that last year or so I have been intrigued with historical fiction novels or ones that have historical elements.  This is a series that I need to sink my teeth into soon!!

11) Batman: Nightwalker by: Marie Lu

While I do have an ARC of this book, I found a signed copy at my local Barnes & Noble and I just had to snatch it up.  I’m really loving all of these DC Heroes books.  I can’t wait for the next few to come out as well!

12) The Empress by: S.J. Kincaid

I recently heard someone talk about this book and I rushed out to buy this book.  This is yet again the second book in a series that I have not read the first book.  Hopefully I can get to this series this year.  It sounds like and incredible action packed sci-fi.

13) The Edge of Everything by: Jeff Giles

I don’t know much about this book other than it has to do with bounty hunters.  I found this book at my local Barnes & Noble for about $5.  I couldn’t pass up a deal like that on a brand new hardcover.

14) Lair of Dreams by: Libba Bray

This is another book that I got for about $5 at Barnes & Noble.  I have the first book in this series, and now I just need to get the last book and I’ll have the whole series.  I am a little bummed that all of the books have different covers as the first one was gorgeous.

15) Contagion by: Erin Bowman

AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!  This is my most anticipated book of the year and it is in my hands!!!  Ever since I read Vengeance Road and Retribution Rails by Erin I have been craving her next book.  When I saw that ARCs of this book were out in the wild I just knew I had to get my hands on a copy.  Through some amazing people and trades on Twitter I finally have a copy!!  I need to read this book soon!  I’m very interested to see how her writing style shifts from Westerns to sci-fi.

16) The Way the Light Bends by: Cordelia Jensen

Earlier on in the year I took a blogger survey and saw this book and added it to my Goodreads.  I didn’t think of it much after that day until I got an email from Penguin Teen asking if I wanted to review this book.  I totally jumped on the chance.  I cannot wait to review it for y’all!

17) Taken by: Erin Bowman

So stupid me didn’t realize that Erin had written some other books until about a month or so ago.  Now knowing this I just had to get them!  Yay for more Erin Bowman books!

18) Frozen by: Erin Bowman

This is the second book in the Taken series.  I still have yet to get the third one, but at least I have the first two to hold me over for a while.

Wow that was a lot of books!  And there are so many that I really can’t wait to get into!  Okay, I’m going back to reading now!!