Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Book Review: Because You Love to Hate Me

Because You Love to Hate Me
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
Leave it to the heroes to save the world--villains just want to rule the world.

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains' points of view.

These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like "Medusa," Sherlock Holmes, and "Jack and the Beanstalk" provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains' acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage--and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!

Featuring writing from . . .

Authors: Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Nicola Yoon

BookTubers: Benjamin Alderson (Benjaminoftomes), Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Whitney Atkinson (WhittyNovels), Tina Burke (ChristinaReadsYA blog and TheLushables), Catriona Feeney (LittleBookOwl), Jesse George (JessetheReader), Zoë Herdt (readbyzoe), Samantha Lane (Thoughts on Tomes), Sophia Lee (thebookbasement), Raeleen Lemay (padfootandprongs07), Regan Perusse (PeruseProject), Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS), and Steph Sinclair & Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery blog and channel).




I'm not normally a fan of anthologies, but I could not resist picking up this book. With so many amazing authors and members of the bookish community coming together, I was so excited to see what they could come up with. 

The premise of this book is that each booktuber/blogger gave their paired author a prompt. The author then took that prompt and made an original short story out of it. After each short story, the booktuber/blogger wrote a short essay that either was about the story or was about villains in general. Since this book was an anthology, I found myself reading through it pretty quickly because each story was only about 15 to 20 pages long. I flew through the stories and while some were AMAZING, others missed the mark for me. 

Going into this book, I wasn't sure what kind of stories to expect. Some stories weren't all that villainous to me while others hooked me from the first page. My stand-out favorites were definitely Marissa Meyer's, Amerie's, and Nicola Yoon's. These three stories were very intriguing and I loved how they ended. I think, though, that I liked them the most because they were based on stories I knew very well: The Little Mermaid, Jack and the Bean Stalk, and Beauty and the Beast. Those three were such fun takes on the story and I loved their creativity! 

As for the essays after each short story, they were very hit or miss for me. A lot of the times they read as an analysis of their story and I wasn't all that interested in them. I really enjoyed the more creative takes on villains, but I didn't think these contributions really made the book. Honestly, I think this anthology would have worked just fine with just the prompt and the stories. While it was a fun idea in theory, I was pretty uninterested in the essays included. 

Overall, there were some unique and enticing stories while there were others that I found myself skimming because I didn't really care for them. I could have down without the essays, but I did think the prompts were a unique and fun challenge for the authors.


Monday, July 24, 2017

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Because You Love to Hate Me (Q&A with Samantha Shannon and Regan Perusse)


I have been a huge fan of Booktube for years, so when I saw this book was coming out, I was so excited. Some amazing authors were pairing with some of my favorite bookstubers and I couldn't wait to see how it turned out! As part of this blog tour, I was able to read the book and have a Q&A with Samantha Shannon and Regan Perusse (one of my most favorite booktubers ever, even though we don't have the same taste in books at all. She's just so fun to watch!). Enjoy!

1. If you could be any villain, who would you be and why? 
Samantha: Maleficent. Those cheekbones. Those horns. That fearsome outfit. And who wouldn't want to be able to turn into a dragon at will?   
Regan: If I could be any villain I think I would have to go with Loki. Not only does he have glamorous hair and magic, but he is gray in morality. I feel given the chance perhaps he could end up being a good guy? I suppose my answer is a bit of a cop-out, but I can’t help it – I love the guy! 
2. What hero do you think would make a great villain and why? It could be from any story, classic or recent. 
Samantha: Robin Hood would be pretty easy to twist into a villain. In some versions of the tale, he and his Merry Men were not above violence -- for example, in one ballad, Mulch the Miller's Son kills a young boy to silence him, and one fifteenth-century text describes Robin as a siccarius ("knife man" or "cutthroat"), implying that he wasn't just stealing, but killing.   
Regan: I think Kaz Brekker would be a fantastic villain. To be fair, he is considered a villain by a large amount of people in his world so I feel like his transition could be quite seamless. Not to mention he already has a lot of underworld connections, which I feel like would allow him to become 100% bad very easily (versus the 50% bad he currently is) and I would be 100% into it.
3. If you had to choose a classic or fairytale to retell in your own novel, what would you choose and why?
Samantha: There are many, many stories I'd love to retell. One of those is that of Saint George and the Dragon, which I have retold in a high fantasy context in my upcoming novel The Priory of the Orange Tree, with George as a less-than-heroic figure. That story -- the ultimate tale of a damsel in distress -- has been screaming for a hefty dose of girl power for centuries. (And here's something I've never told a soul: the Bone Season series is a partial re-imagining of a myth.) 
4. If you could ask any author to write you anything, who would it be and what would you ask them to write?
Regan: I am going to exclude Harry Potter as a possible choice to this question (because if this was real possibility my answer will always be Harry Potter). 
I would have Patrick Rothfuss write me a pirate centered fantasy story. Patrick Rothfuss just has the most wonderful writing and I absolutely love his characters. I feel very strongly he could create a fantastic swashbuckling pirate story full of sword fighting, romance, and adventure.


Thank you so much to Samantha and Regan for answering my questions!! 


Because You Love to Hate Me
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
Leave it to the heroes to save the world--villains just want to rule the world.

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains' points of view.

These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like "Medusa," Sherlock Holmes, and "Jack and the Beanstalk" provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains' acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage--and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!

Featuring writing from . . .

Authors: Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Nicola Yoon

BookTubers: Benjamin Alderson (Benjaminoftomes), Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Whitney Atkinson (WhittyNovels), Tina Burke (ChristinaReadsYA blog and TheLushables), Catriona Feeney (LittleBookOwl), Jesse George (JessetheReader), Zoë Herdt (readbyzoe), Samantha Lane (Thoughts on Tomes), Sophia Lee (thebookbasement), Raeleen Lemay (padfootandprongs07), Regan Perusse (PeruseProject), Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS), and Steph Sinclair & Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery blog and channel).


Win a copy of Because You Love to Hate Me! US/Canada only. 



Follow the Blog Tour




Sunday, July 23, 2017

Book Review: King by T.M. Frazier

King (King #1)
By T.M. Frazier
Release Date: June 15, 2015
Source: Book Signing 
Homeless. Hungry. Desperate.

Doe has no memories of who she is or where she comes from.

A notorious career criminal just released from prison, King is someone you don’t want to cross unless you’re prepared to pay him back in blood, sweat, pu$$y or a combination of all three.

King’s future hangs in the balance. Doe’s is written in her past. When they come crashing together, they will have to learn that sometimes in order to hold on, you have to first let go.


Warning: This book contains graphic violence, consensual and nonconsensual sex, drug use, abuse, and other taboo subjects and adult subject matter. Although originally slated to be a standalone, KING is now a two part series.
 



To say I was excited to read this book would be a huge understatement. With an average of 4.24 stars on Goodreads, I was expecting a mind-blowing story. What I didn't expect was the dark, gritty story that I fell in love with. 

Doe has no idea who she is or where she came from. All she knows is that she woke up beaten and alone and no one is looking for her. King is dangerous. Having just been released from 3 years in prison, King is hard on the outside and even harder on the inside. When Does falls into King's life, King doesn't take it easy on Doe. He knows he should let her go. But there's something connecting the two together that neither of them can understand, but neither of them wants to lose. 

Holy moly. From the start of this book, it's dark. Doe is literally starving to death and only has a drugged-up hooker as a friend. Doe is thrown into King's life and has no idea how she's going to survive. I was drawn into this story and could not put it down because I had to know what would happen to Doe. And even though King is a dangerous guy who has done some pretty bad stuff, I was just as intrigued by him as I was with Doe. Why are the bad boys always the most intriguing?? 

While I was sucked into this book from the beginning, what really sold me on this book were the twists and turns with every page. Some serious stuff goes down in this book that I was literally not expecting, so I was definitely impressed how shocking T.M. Frazier could make the story. I will say, there are some pretty graphic and horrifying scenes in this book, so if that's not for you, don't read this. But if you love a raw, gritty, dark look at romance, you are going to love this book. And that ending! As soon as I put this book down, I picked up book two because I had to know what would happen next. 

I cannot believe it took me this long to read a book from T.M. Frazier, but I'm so happy I finally did. I fell in love with all of the characters in this book and am dying to read their books later on in this series. I'm so happy I got to read this before meeting T.M. so that I could truly fangirl over her and buy the rest of the books of this series. All of you dark romance lovers out there have to pick this book up!



Saturday, July 22, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (253)

 

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where bloggers share what books they got throughout the week!

From For the Love and Books and Florida Signing


I went down to Florida last week and got to go to the For the Love of Books and Florida signing! I got to meet T.M. Frazier and Kandi Steiner and it was amazing! We went to the after party as well and got to spend the whole night hanging out with Kandi! As usual, I got way too many books, but they're all signed and all amazing!


As you can see, I got A TONNNN of books! Sarah bought me Lawless and Soulless for my birthday, but the rest I bought for myself and they're all signed! I'm so excited to own all of these! 


From Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day had AMAZING deals on books and also a $5 off $15 coupon. I ended up getting all of these for only $13! I couldn't resist! 


Books-A-Million

The day before the signing, Sarah had some homework to do, so we went to Books-A-Million and I had to browse! I found these three in the clearance section and they were buy 2 get 1 free! So I got all three of these hardbacks for only $10! 


That's it for me! What did you all add to your shelves this week? 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Book Review: Silver Silence by Nalini Singh

Silver Silence (Psy-Changeling #16, Psy-Changeling Trinity #1)
By Nalini Singh
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Source: Publisher
New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to herextraordinary Psy-Changeling world with a story of wild passion and darkest betrayal...

Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that's exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence--her mind clear of all emotion--Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That's what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious...and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.

Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed
 


Nalini Singh has been an author on my TBR for so long now. Everyone raves about her books, but I'm super intimidated by starting a series that is already 16 books in. When I saw this spin-off series was coming out, I thought it'd be the perfect book to dive in with. 

Silver Mercant has pledged herself to silence in order to protect herself and her family. But when her life is threatened, Silver has to turn to people she never thought she could trust: Bears. Valentin Nikolaev is the alpha of the StoneWater bears and will put everything he has into protecting his bears. He knows Silver is meant to be his, so he insists on offering his home when Silver needs a safe place to stay while responding to traumatic events in the area. He knows about Silver's vow of silence, but nothing will stop him from finally earning not only Silver's trust, but also her heart. 

From the start, I thought this book was a bit….slow. Within the first 100 pages, nothing really happened in my opinion and I was quickly losing interest. This book took me almost two weeks to finish, which pretty much never happens to me. I just wasn't that into the story and I couldn't connect with Silver. She was supposed to be very emotionless for a reason, but there was something about her that I just didn't care for. And as for the romance, it appeared a little bit too quickly for me. 

While there was a lot of action and suspense, there were soooo many characters that were hard to keep track of. I don't know if they all were in previous books and would be easier to understand if I had read the previous 15 books in the chapter, but there were just so many! I would get lost in the names and the random chapters from someone else's point of view and I ended up getting confused throughout the novel. 

Overall, this wasn't the amazing paranormal romance I was expecting from Nalini. I don't know if it's because I jumped into the series at this book, but I couldn't connect with the main character or the other characters in her world. I am definitely intrigued by the world that Nalini has built for this series and want to pick up book #1 at some point, but this one was more of a miss for me.




Cover Reveal: Drunk Dial by Penelope Ward


We are excited to bring you the upcoming standalone from New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Penelope Ward.

DRUNK DIAL will release on AUGUST 21!

   

Cover designer: Letitia Hasser, RBA designs
Cover Model: Vadim Ivanov
Cover Photography: Kevin Roldan

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new, sexy standalone novel.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Look up Landon Roderick, that boy from childhood whom I’d never been able to forget—even though he so easily forgot about me—and call him.

Then again, anything sounds like a good idea when you’ve had a little too much wine before bed, right? It was supposed to be just a quick, meaningless, prank call. Instead, I went off on him—unloading thirteen years of pent-up emotions.

I didn’t think he’d call me back.

I certainly could never have anticipated the weeks of sexually tense phone conversations that followed as I got to know the man he’d become.

Turned out, Landon had never really forgotten me, either. That special connection we had was still there. I opened up to him, but there were also things about me he didn’t know. And he had his own secrets. 

Over the countless hours we talked on the phone, I wondered what would happen if we actually saw each other. One night, I did something impulsive again. Only this time, I went to the airport and booked a ticket to California. We were about to find out if one phone call could bring two lost souls together or if my drunk dial really was all just a big mistake.

A complete STANDALONE.

       
(No Amazon e-book preorder. Will go live on/around release day.)

 

About the Author

 

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She’s a sixteen-time New York Times bestseller. Her novels are published in over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world. Having grown up in Boston with five older brothers, she spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism and a 11-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.
           

Connect with Penelope Ward:

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Instagram:
@penelopewardauthor
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