SOME THINGS TO TALK ABOUT

So. Here’s the gist of what I’m about to explain: I’m going on a hiatus for the foreseeable future. Not the sort of ‘abandon hope, all ye who enter here’ sort of hiatus where I AM NEVER COMING BACK gets thrown around, but a considerable one. I may pop in every once in a while with a random review or weekly thing that looks fun, or who knows- I might get inspired next weekend and schedule 50 posts for the next six months. But it’s a hiatus.

Due to some recent changes in my schedule, I’ve had to cut some things out. As my lowest priority, blogging is the first to go. I’ve really enjoyed it, but I enjoy more being able to read at my leisure, not feel bad when I decide to watch Netflix or sleep instead, and having time for other things in my life. I don’t want to call myself a blogger when my posts are bimonthly at best. Instead, I’ll transition into more of a writer- of my own fiction. Because I really do enjoy that, and my best blogger friends on, say, twitter, were really found in pursuit of NaNoWriMo. I love all the friends I’ve made, and I would not give up fangirling with you for anything, but when I disappear for a couple months trying not to think about everyone else with ARCs of GEMINA (the only book I want in the world right now), it won’t be as big a deal.

Anyway, this won’t be the last you hear from me, but I just want to give you faithful few followers a heads-up that you won’t be seeing as much from me.

Yours,

Mikayla

 

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WoW: NEMESIS

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at BREAKING THE SPINE in which participants share their anticipated reads with the blogging community.

THIS WEEK:

This is one of my favorite anticipated reads for fall. A rivalry, high stakes, epic fantasy? YES PLEASE. Not to mention that it’s written by Anna Banks- and I will read ANYTHING she writes, hands down. And the cover. THE COVER! SO much pretty. Coming October 4, 2016, here’s

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SUMMARY:

Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee from his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king’s servitude.

Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.

Sepora’s gift could save Tarik’s kingdom from the Quiet Plague. But should she trust her growing feelings for her nemesis, or should she hide her gifts at all costs?

WHY I’M EXCITED

Like I said- I’ll read anything that Anna Banks writes. She’s absolutely AWESOME. This new, epic fantasy comes straight from my dreams, with the promise of a slow-burn romance, some political intrigue, and an ethics dilemma too good to pass up. And a Quiet Plague? I HAVE TO KNOW WHAT THAT IS. So yeah, I’m really excited for this one. And I LOVE the cover. I think it totally escalates the claim of ‘fantasy’ novel to a higher degree. So many books say they’re fantasy, but only change a few things to make it that way, usually that someone somewhere has a magical power. But this? Silver skin (or war paint, either way), someone who can CREATE ENERGY, and fighting kingdoms are absolutely what I want. So kudos to Anna for making this happen, because I’m so psyched!

LINK TO GOODREADS
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AUTHOR TWITTER || AUTHOR WEBSITE

WHAT’S YOUR WOW? LINK/COMMENT BELOW!

Top Ten Tuesday: Inspired by HAMILTON

TOP TEN TUESDAY is a weekly meme hosted by THE BROKE AND THE BOOKISH where participants list their top ten lists of any given subject, given ahead of time.

THIS WEEK:

LOVE SONGS TO HAMILTON

We were allowed to be creative this week, with something romance-themed, and this is something I’ve wanted to do for a little while. So, let me explain this one really fast- These are the books that come to my mind for particular Hamilton songs, especially those of a romantic nature (or not- this could get crazy). I’ll also be including some “Hamilton Confessions,” so get ready to FEEL THE LOVE.

1. “TALK LESS, SMILE MORE. DON’T LET THEM KNOW WHAT YOU’RE AGAINST OR WHAT YOU’RE FOR.”

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Kestrel, from Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Curse series, is exactly this way, to me. She fights with her mind rather than impulse and brute force, and she’s obviously willing to do what it takes to survive and thrive, even when it isn’t want you would expect. And she won’t give that up, even for her own happiness. She suffers in silence, and even though that HURT MY HEART, I applaud her. Also, The Election of 1800 is in my top 3 favorite Hamilton songs, for every reason. Kestrel also applies to Wait For It- I AM THE ONE THING IN LIFE I CAN CONTROL…I’M NOT STANDING STILL, I AM LYING IN WAIT. Woo. Just got a couple shivers.

2. “THERE’S A MILLION THINGS I HAVEN’T DONE, BUT JUST YOU WAIT”

Darrow. What began as a revolution for a higher cause is becoming his own twisted vengeance, and I’m loving it. There are big things to come from him, and I can’t wait for Morning Star to destroy our souls. Darrow, like Hamilton, is not throwing away his shot on something that isn’t worth it.

3. “EVERY DAY’S A TEST OF OUR CAMARADERIE AND BRAVERY”

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I really love this song (Stay Alive) and this line. It reminds me of Thane and Ciena in Star Wars: Lost Stars because they both have their friendship so severely tested in a time of war. Not only their own, but their relationships with others, as loyalty and duty clash and there is no way to escape. /STAY ALIVE UNTIL THIS HORROR SHOW IS PAST/

4. “ANSWER FOR THE ACCUSATIONS I LAY AT YOUR FEET, OR PREPARE TO BLEED, GOOD MAN”

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Oh, Kate. She’s thirsty for revenge, and she won’t let anyone sway her from her purpose. Blood for blood is what she stands for, and after her father’s sacrifice, there is no chance that she will back down from this fight. The emotion and wild hate that eats away at Burr in these last few songs are so characteristic of the villain, and that desperation is what radiates from Kate during portions of Vengeance Road. She demands satisfaction. Read the book to find out if she gets it or not.

5. “THERE IS NO MORE STATUS QUO. BUT THE SUN COMES UP AND THE WORLD STILL SPINS.”

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Oh, I’m so in love with Thomas Jefferson right now. He’s devilish and dangerous and a little bit conniving, but he and Madison are a wickedly wonderful (and often hilarious) team (SUCH A BLUNDER, SOMETIMES IT MAKES ME WONDER WHY I EVEN BRING THE THUNDER) See what I mean? Anyway. In Bone Gap, the status quo has been completely flushed down the drain. People disappear, strange figures creep through the mist, and no one believes the Finn O’Sullivan is telling the truth. But it’s true- life goes on.

6. “YA BEST G’WAN RUN BACK WHERE YA COME FROM”

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The issue of immigration is not played around with in Hamilton, and it plays a large factor in Joyride as well. Carly and Arden aren’t supposed to be together, aren’t supposed to even be friends. But they overcome the odds (not just in that) to RISE UP above what everyone expects.

7. “WE LAUGH AND WE CRY AND WE BREAK AND WE MAKE OUR MISTAKES.”

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If there was ever a book about how decisions affect us, it’s this one. The story of the same girl, paralleled in a ‘what-if’ format, trails through the books, offering us a look at the question we all ask- What if everything was different? This is two different stories, different mistakes: AND LIFE DOESN’T DISCRIMINATE.

8. “NOW I’M THE VILLAIN IN YOUR HISTORY.”

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Captain Hook is the villain. But history books are written by the winners, are they not? Here’s a story that no one has heard- the story of Hook, and how Peter Pan ruined his life. BURR, (PAN) MY FIRST FRIEND, MY ENEMY…

9. “THERE ARE MOMENTS THAT THE WORDS DON’T REACH; THERE IS A SUFFERING TOO TERRIBLE TO NAME.”

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Even though they’re about two different things, IT’S QUIET UPTOWN has some really relevant lines that apply to All the Truth That’s in Me. I love this book for the fact that the character works through her challenges- without words-and redeems her relationships with those she thought she had lost forever. She does the unimaginable. I’ll be completely honest- the first few times I listened to this, I wasn’t affected. Then one day, I was driving by myself and started BAWLING. And now it doesn’t stop. I cry every time- I can’t pay attention to the words when it comes on, because it makes me so sad, especially now that I know Angelica is there. Full Angelica disclosure to come.

10. “HE WILL NEVER BE SATISFIED. I WILL NEVER BE SATISFIED.”

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This is my favorite one. Teach and Anne are both yearning for more, both yearning for each other, but they don’t rush in like foolish children. Teach is a little headstrong, yes, but he doesn’t go completely mad and act on every random impulse. Neither does Anne. She plans for her future, despite what her heart is telling her. In the same way, Hamilton chooses the path most obvious to find what he wants, and Angelica denies her heart selflessly. She does what she has to do.

So here’s my big confession: I can’t stand Eliza. I don’t listen to HELPLESS, SATISFIED breaks my heart every. time. and IT’S QUIET UPTOWN hurts because Angelica is seeing the two people she loves most from the outside. Until BURN, I don’t even want to hear about Eliza, and it’s drives me CRAZY that Hamilton has a stupid affair when he has TWO women who are hopelessly in love with him. And OH MY GOSH, Renee Elise Goldberry has a fantastic voice. But yeah, I don’t like Eliza. Half the time I don’t even like Hamilton. Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and Washington hold my heart. Sometimes Burr does, too (curse you, Leslie Odom Jr., for giving him that delicious voice). Seriously, though. ANGELICA SCHUYLER. She’s amazing. And that comma…”My dearest, Angelica…” UGH. MY HEART. THOUGHTS OF YOU SUBSIDE, THEN I GET ANOTHER LETTER. I CANNOT PUT THE NOTION AWAY…

I’m DYING. But I’ll stop the Hamilton rant for now…because my TTT has gone crazy. But this is definitely the most fun I’ve ever had writing up a post. I hope you all have enjoyed it as well!

RELEASE BLITZ: BLACKHEARTS!!! (+ GIVEAWAYS!)

IT’S FEBRUARY 9TH, AND THAT MEANS…

*DRUMROLL*

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BLACKHEARTS IS HERE!!!

Look, you all know by now (or should know) how much I love this book (you’d know more if you follow me on twitter). There’s no book that quite compares- this book struck me as everything that I wan tin my historical fiction and it still strikes me now. You can find my review right here if you want to know what I felt right after reading it. Perhaps even more than me, my lovely friend Stephanie (who is one of the most AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL AND PERFECT people EVER) from CHASM OF BOOKS (which, by the way, is one of the most amazing blogs EVER) is also a huge lover of Blackhearts. 

This week, we’ve teamed up to blitz the internet with the awesomeness that is this novel! With Glass Sword also releasing today, we were afraid that Nicole’s AMAZING novel might get a little lost in the shuffle of major promotion of the newest Aveyard installment. But Blackhearts is worth so much love and praise and shouting, we’ve rounded up a few others who loved it to get everyone in on the love- and in on the hashtag/street team of two:

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Use the hashtag #prepiratenation on social media to share the love! We want everyone to know about Blackhearts and how awesome Nicole is, so please, help us to spread it like jelly on toast!

In honor of the release, I’ve put together a little aesthetic for Blackhearts, one that I actually think turned out really well. I used pictures from my own pinterest as well as Nicole’s to create it, and I think this might become something I end up doing more often, because I LOVE the way this one turned out. (Although it could have turned out this well because Blackhearts is just so absolutely photogenic!)

 

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Gosh. I love looking at this beautiful cover, and I can’t wait to have to real deal in my hands- by now, my copy should be on the way! I can just smell that ‘new book’ smell, feel the smooth edges of pages against my thumb….WHOO. Can you feel it?! GET EXCITED.

I wish there was a quote I could share with you, but as of yet, I don’t have a finished copy (obviously) and therefore don’t want to share a fan art that’s wrong! But here’s something you might like a little more:

GIVEAWAYS!

GIVEAWAY #1: INTERNATIONAL!

Enter here for a HARDCOVER of BLACKHEARTS, open anywhere The Book Depository ships!

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GIVEAWAY #2: US ONLY

Enter here for a SIGNED HARDCOVER of Blackhearts, as well as SWAG!

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VISIT EVERYONE PARTICIPATING IN THE RELEASE BLITZ!

Chasm of Books

Bookmarks (me!)

Beauty and the Bookshelf

Chasing Faerytales

Arctic Books

My Friends Are Fiction

The YA Booktraveler

Bookishness and Tea

Read.Read.Read.

Sophie Reads YA

Middle Grade Minded

 

I want to give a special thanks to Stephanie @ Chasm of Books (link above) for organizing this great release blitz. Without her, our participating blog list would be pretty short, and our giveaways would be nonexistent! So thanks, Stephanie, the best of the best.

Of course, none of this would have been possible at all without our fearless leader, NICOLE CASTROMAN! She wrote the book that brought Stephanie and I together on this, and I’m forever grateful to her for that! (P.S. We all hope there’s a sequel in the works soon! ;D)

That’s pretty much it, ladies and gents. Please, PLEASE pick up a copy of BLACKHEARTS at your local bookstore or library- you won’t regret it! And remember to tag any Blackhearts release posts or fanart on social media with #prepiratenation so we can all share the love!

BABY BOOK REVIEW: SWORD AND VERSE

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SUMMARY (goodreads):

Raisa was only a child when she was kidnapped and enslaved in Qilara. Forced to serve in the palace of the King, she’s endured hunger, abuse, and the harrowing fear of discovery. Everyone knows that Raisa is Arnath, but not that she is a Learned One, a part of an Arnath group educated in higher order symbols. In Qilara, this language is so fiercely protected that only the King, the Prince, and Tutors are allowed to know it. So when the current Tutor-in-training is executed for sharing the guarded language with slaves and Raisa is chosen to replace her, Raisa knows that, although she may have a privileged position among slaves, any slipup could mean death.

That would be challenging enough, but training alongside Prince Mati could be her real undoing. And when a romance blossoms between them, she’s suddenly filled with a dangerous hope for something she never before thought possible: more. Then she’s approached by the Resistance—an underground army of slaves—to help liberate the Arnath people. Joining the Resistance could mean freeing her people…but she’d also be aiding in the war against her beloved, an honorable man she knows wants to help the slaves.

Working against the one she loves—and a palace full of deadly political renegades—has some heady consequences. As Raisa struggles with what’s right, she unwittingly uncovers a secret that the Qilarites have long since buried…one that, unlocked, could bring the current world order to its knees.

And Raisa is the one holding the key.

BABY REVIEW:

What a disappointment. I had high hopes for Sword and Verse. The author created a new language just for her book! If you can create a language, you MUST be able to use it, right?

Wrong.

I think she spent a little too much time on linguistics and not enough on her plot. Let me put a disclaimer that I skimmed a LOT of this book, but this was what I got from it:

BEWARE: SPOILERS AHEAD

 

 

Page 20: Raisa is already raised from lowest slave level to Tutor-in-training: training WITH the prince. Yeah, sure. And she avoided execution somehow, which was also unclear. Then there were the names and the places- an info dump if there ever was one. Raisa was the most normal name of any of them. I’m all for creativity, but please don’t give me 15 crazy names of people, places and things in the first 20 pages that I’m supposed to remember.

Page 30: She and the prince, who have never spoken before, ARE IN LOVE. Kissing ALL THE TIME.

Page 50: They sneak off to the library to have sex, and continue to do so several times throughout the book, even after the prince is betrothed to another girl, who’s super nice. Did I mention that she’s fifteen? But she was 14 when this love affair got started, and she barely breaks 16 by the time you actually get to the plot? Unrestrained teenage hormones are obviously a key factor in pushing this plot.

The rest (because after I spent 50 pages flipping through shivers and coos and the laughable idea that the ONLY PRINCE could sneak off so easily, for so long): There’s some kind of revolution, but Raisa is only concerned with how long it is before the prince gets married to the other girl- who is SUPER NICE, as far as I can tell. But it doesn’t seem to matter, because they still sneak off together anyway. Raisa only joins (begrudgingly) when people- important people- get kidnapped. And then there’s hardly any action, just some planning and suddenly, BAM. Raisa is the ruler of the whole place, some kind of priestess that can consult with an oracle and all sorts of random stuff like that. Good grief! A language rebellion wasn’t enough? It’s frustrating because I thought this would be in the vein of The Pledge, by Kimberly Derting, which was a great book about language and class separation. Maybe that was my mistake. But I certainly expected more than this.

I am very, very disappointed in this one. Insta-love, 8000 random characters, NO real action that I could find, and a very sketchy way of trying to have a happy ending. It would have been much more satisfying if there had been any true sacrifice from ANYONE in this book.

WHAT TO WATCH (more spoilers)

There was the bad romance, of course. Lots of not-so-innuendo about what they were doing and how. That permeated the book.

There was some violence, though not nearly as much as expected when you see the word sword in the title and a picture of it on the cover. Isn’t it supposed to be a revolution?

As far as drugs and drinking go, I couldn’t tell you, because I didn’t get that deep into it, to catch those details. The same goes for language, though I think I can safely say that since the author created a language, the curing wouldn’t be what we normally see.

The resolution of the whole affair seemed to rely on her suddenly becoming the magical priestess, something I am so not on board with. Can’t have a happy ending? THAT’S FINE. Don’t add some random plot element at the end so that everything can be hunky-dory.

This book was not for me. I thought it was awful, and yet, it was so hyped! Maybe I’ll write a post up about hype- because this is happening more and more. It’s a travesty, especially when people pre-order books based on some contrived excitement. A synopsis does not a good book make.