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!

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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!

ARC REVIEW: BLACKHEARTS

SUMMARY

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything. This is their story.

Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There’s just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents’ deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she’s stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

MY THOUGHTS

PLOT: I’m going to attempt, very carefully, not to swoon after every sentence I write about this book. *SWOON* Sorry. Be prepared- I don’t think I can make this non-gushing.

Let’s get one thing straight- I loved everything about this book. Everything. Except, perhaps, the ending, because I wasn’t ready for it. The plot was much different than I anticipated, and the twists, although they weren’t ridiculously huge (i.e. an asteroid is heading for the earth, ahhhh!) they were unexpected, intriguing, and absolutely fabulous. They always came just when you were ready for something new to happen, and I must admit, this is one of the only times that I recognized the excellence of the pacing in a novel. It was a constant upswing, and although there weren’t action scenes every 15 pages, there was always something to make you go

So, basically, it was amazing.

The plot didn’t get tiresome- sometimes with the historical novels set around this time, it can get repetitive. Dinner, dancing, suitor, dancing, gasp, dinner, gasp, dancing, etc. Those things are great when used to enhance the plot, but not when they’re the entire plot. Blackhearts stayed firmly away from that trend. There were dinners, yes. There was dancing, yes (and pretty dresses!!!). There was gasping (mostly by me), yes. But it served a purpose. It moved the plot forward, giving you important information and leading you to the climax very sneakily. It’s fantastic, until you reach the surprisingly quick conclusion. Then, if you’re like me, you just cry a little bit and search for the invisible last pages.

CHARACTERS: Where do I even begin? This book had everything by way of characters. The variety was stunning- each had a specific voice, and they absolutely each elicited emotions from me. Teach? SWOON SWOON SWOON. He’s strong, he’s fierce, he’s powerful- but what I loved most about Teach was that even though he was one of the darker heroes, this wasn’t a twisted YA relationship, and it certainly wasn’t insta-love. This wasn’t one of those books where the girl becomes a doormat because a hot guy gives her the time of the day- and that brings me to Anne.

Anne is the ultimate heroine- decisive, uncompromising, willing to do anything she has to so she can escape her life as a servant. She doesn’t resign herself to a life of misery, even though her only way out may be to do things she doesn’t want to do. I admired her unflinching spirit, even in the face of danger and ridicule, and I think we need more heroines in YA who think and act like Anne. Even falling in love can’t keep her from following her dreams.

Even the characters that were minor were very distinctive and very entertaining. Drummond, Teach’s father, was such a conflict for me- it was a total love-hate relationship. He’s a great layer of conflict for the story, and I loved the way you see him shift and change- a totally dynamic character. Patience, William, Mary, Margery, etc., all enhanced the book as well- enough subplots to keep the book moving and keep your brain occupied, but not so much that it distracted from the main plot line. Their characters, while not as dynamic, were entertaining and they served a purpose- they weren’t just random characters introduced as filler. Sometimes when that happens it can make me close a book for a while because it’s overwhelming, but Nicole found another great balance with her characters and their roles.

OVERALL: Did I mention how much love this book? Hit the pre-order sites, everyone, and keep your eye out for it. Blackhearts may not be a revolutionary story (it is set in the past!) but the writing and execution certainly is. Five stars, although I’d give it a thousand if I could. When I was (still am) swamped with books that just can’t keep my attention, Blackhearts grabbed my attention, my mind, and then my heart with its rich characters, driven plot, and elegant world.

What else can I say? This was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, and I think everyone else should read it, too. This last image basically sums up how I feel about this book.

WHAT I’M READING

I’M NOT LOST

You might have been wondering where I’ve disappeared to! Well, it’s been a busy week, and I’m going to do my best to get back on the reviewing/posting wagon next week! Here’s a quick look at what I’ve started reading in the past week and what I’ve been excited for to make up for missing my Waiting on Wednesday!

BLACKHEARTS, NICOLE CASTROMAN

LOOK HOW PRETTY! I am so excited to read Blackhearts, coming to us in February 2016. I think it’ll be a great historical YA, with beautiful characters and lavish settings. Nicole has described it as pre-pirate, and that’s got me more excited than anything!

LOST STARS, CLAUDIA GRAY

If you love Star Wars, or sci-fi, or Claudia Gray, or great writing, you’ll want to pick up this one. It’s longer, 560 pages, but it’s so good that you won’t even notice the pages flying by. The dynamic between the two main characters, Thane and Ciena, is so absolutely exhilarating that you won’t be able to put it down, and so far (I’m only on page 116!) their character development has been such a delight to witness- they’re going in two different directions, and it’s beautifully terrible to watch. I love it, and can’t wait to see where it goes.

So there’s a little bit about what I’ve been doing, and hopefully I’ll see you again soon! Much love to you all! ❤