That's a Wrap: October to December 2016

Happy New Year's Eve everybody! With the end of 2016 comes a new year, new beginnings, a new chance to tackle those new year's resolutions, and my quarterly wrap up!

I think I did pretty decently with the amount of books I read considering how tough school life has been on me. :(

Anyways, without further delay, here is my final wrap up list of 2016!

1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany

Many readers have issues with this book, but I quite enjoyed it. There are lots of qualms with how some of the characters are portrayed; how they grew up to be nothing like how they were, but I think that's a part of character development. I'm not particularly happy with how some of the characters turned out, but considering what the golden trio went through as children, you can't expect them to stay shining forever.

2. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

This was an interesting read but filled with plot holes (ha ha). The characters were decent though, and I'd definitely still read from this author. Read my review here.

3. The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

My first venture into Kasie West books. While I wasn't terribly impressed, I can't argue that it wasn't a good love story. :) Read my review here.

January 2017 Book of Choice Giveaway Hop

Hey guys! I hope you all are well and had a wonderful holiday. Hopefully you all got what you wished for, but just in case you didn't, I'm giving you one more chance in this BOOK OF CHOICE giveaway!

THE DETAILS
→ One winner will recieve a book worth $15 CAD.
→ This giveaway is international so long as The Book Depository ships to you.
→ This giveaway ends January 15th 2017 at 11:59 EST
→ I will contact the winner the next day, and they will have 48 hours to respond before I choose another winner.
→ Good luck to everyone entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL! Go check out all of these lovely blogs that are also hosting giveaways, for even more chances to win!


First Lines Friday [5]

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?
THE LINES
"Heads up," a loud voice called from my right. I looked up just in time to see a football smack me right between the eyes.

I never really understood the saying heads up. At least not as a warning. Duck or watch out or heads down would've worked. I lie on my back, book clutched to my chesst, staring at the purple-and-gold streaked sky--the Perceptives must've been gearing up for the football game that night. As if the school colours splashed across the sky would send us running to the ticket booths.

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Published by Tor Teen on October 17th 2011
Genre(s): YA, Horror, Paranormal, Fantasy
Pages: 320 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library book
GOODREADS | AMAZON
★★★½☆
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas's life.
This was a very interesting read, and I don't think I've read anything quite like it. There were some bits I'm not too fond of, but not all of it was bad. There are some plot holes, but I liked the characters and the writing.

The story follows Cas Lowood, who is a teenage ghost hunter. He travels the country with his mother, doing what he can to protect the public from the supernatural. After the death of his father, he's hunting more fiercely than ever, to avenge him by killing the ghost that tore apart his family.

Loading the Library [1] - Spending that First Paycheck

Loading the Library is a haul segment I'm starting on my blog to talk about recent books or other bookish items I've added to my collection. It's basically a haul post. :)

Having gotten my very first paycheck a while back, I reasonably spent a portion of it on books. I picked up a couple new releases I wanted to check out, as well as some popular picks I haven’t gotten into yet.

With university applications coming up hard and fast, I’ll likely not have time to read much these coming months, but who knows? It’s depressing how few books I’ve read this year, but that’s a whole other blog post.

Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before 1) by Jenny Han
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on April 15th 2014
Genre(s): Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 355
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
GOODREADS | AMAZON
★★★★★
Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her.

They aren't love letters that anyone else wrote for her, these are ones she's written. One for every boy she's ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control.
If love is like a possession, maybe my letter are like my exorcisms.
I absolutely ADORE this book.

I have to admit: during the beginning of the book, I found that the story was kind of bland. Bland in the sense that I wasn't really all that interested about where the plot headed and how it was getting there. My initial impression of Lara Jean was not the greatest, but I'm glad I continued the story so I had the chance to fall in love with this book!
My letters are for when I don't want to be in love anymore. They're for good-bye. Because after I write in my letter, I'm not longer consumed by my all-consuming love...My letters set me free. Or at least they're supposed to.

First Lines Friday [4]

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?
THE LINES
International baggage claim in the Brussels airport was large and airy, with multiple carousels circling endlessly. I scurried from one to another, desperately trying to find my black suitcase. Because it was stuffed with drug money, I was more concerned than one might normally be about lost luggage.

Book Blitz: Pocket Full of Tinder (Noon Onyx 4) by Jill Archer (Excerpt + Giveaway)

Pocket Full of Tinder by Jill Archer
Published: December 15th 2016
Genre(s): Fantasy, New Adult, Science Fiction

GOODREADS | AMAZON

Noon Onyx is back! In this long-awaited fourth installment, Jill Archer returns readers to the dangerous world of Halja, where demons, angels, and humans coexist in an uneasy state of détente.

Maegester-in-Training Noon Onyx feels like she’s done it all – mastered fiery magic, become an adept fighter, learned the law, killed countless demons, and survived having her heart broken by both love and an arrow, but now she’ll face her greatest challenge yet…

Far to the north lies an outpost famous for its unrest – Rockthorn Gorge. The town’s patron has specifically requested Noon’s help. Her assignment? Help the neophyte demon lord build his fiefdom and keep what’s his. The problem? Lord Aristos – Noon’s new employer – is her erstwhile lover, Ari Carmine, the aforementioned heart breaker. And the number one thing he wants is her.

When Rockthorn Gorge’s viaduct is destroyed by Displodo, an enigmatic bomber, killing a dozen settlers and wounding scores more, Noon sets off early to aid in the search and rescue. Ari is listed among the missing and the suspects are legion. But Noon’s search is just the beginning. Her journey forces Noon to confront not only those she loves, but also enemies hell-bent on destroying them.
Released just TODAY, here is Jill Archer's fourth installment in her Noon Onyx series, Pocket Full of Tinder! Keep reading for an excerpt of the book, a chance to win autographed books and an Amazon gift card, and an author FAQ.

Book Blitz: Acca (Angelbound Origins 3) by Christina Bauer (Excerpt + Giveaway)

Acca by Christina Bauer
Published by Monster House Books on December 13th 2016
Genre(s): Fantasy, Young Adult

GOODREADS | AMAZON

In just one week, supernatural warrior Myla Lewis must discover enough evidence to send the evil House of Acca to prison… or she’ll end up in jail herself, along with her fiancé, Prince Lincoln. No pressure.

To gather proof, Myla and Lincoln go undercover at an all-girl’s high school on Earth. Lincoln acts as the new gym teacher; Myla becomes the school’s least popular transfer student ever. To stop them from getting the goods, Acca releases Hell on Earth. Literally. Good thing Myla and Lincoln aren’t afraid of a tough fight. This one promises to be the hardest yet. After all, who ever said high school wasn’t hell?
Hi readers! Check out Acca by Christina Bauer, the third installment of the Angelbound Origins series. Keep reading for an excerpt, a reading playlist (curated by the author herself!) and a chance to win some fantasy themed accessories!

10 Books I'm Looking Forward to For the First Half of 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.
I didn't read many of the books I planned to read this year, but I'm determined to get through this list at the very least in 2017! Here are just some of the books I'd like to check off my TBR. Also, I'm not 100% sure whether I interpreted the prompt correctly, so bear with me if I'm wrong.


1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
This book (or series, rather) is all the hype EVERYWHERE. It feels like everyone but me has read Sarah J. Maas. The majority of people who have read this have only positive things to say, but there are a few of my friends who don't praise this book that highly. Still, I'm excited to what happens!

2. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Another Sarah J. Maas book series, that has been heavily recommended to me (and that I've held off reading due to lack of time). But seriously, from what I've been hearing, this book requires great emotional investment, and I'm not prepared to give myself over so close to exam season.

Immediately after reading the currently published books in the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series, I discovered that there was a third book, and I FREAKED, because I'm in LOVE with the series thus far, and thought it was a duology this whole time! I have to wait until April though, for this concluding book, and I don't know if I can wait that long! >.<

Book Blitz: The Secret Billionaire (Excerpt + Giveaway)


THE SECRET BILLIONAIRE by Teymour Shahabi
Published: September 26th 2016
Genre(s): Mystery, Young Adult
GOODREADS | AMAZON

March 24. Billionaire Lyndon Surway takes off in his private plane and never returns.

His will leaves the entirety of his wealth—one of the largest fortunes in history—to his “dear friend Lucian Baker.” Only there is no trace of anyone by that name. And the fortune itself is nowhere to be found.

Andrew Day knows nothing of wealth and privilege, but he won a scholarship to study at the most exclusive school in the country, in the town where the mystery, decades later, remains unsolved. There he discovers friendship and danger with the aristocratic Cameron and the beautiful Olivia. But watchful eyes follow him everywhere… Until, one night, he comes across a secret that will change his life. As he begins to unravel what really happened to the Surway fortune, the question remains: who is Lucian Baker?

Winner: Northern California Book Festival, Best Young Adult Book, 2016
Winner: Great Midwest Book Festival, Best Young Adult Book, 2016
Published just a couple of months ago, here is The Secret Billionaire by Teymour Shahabi. Below, you will find some behind-the-scenes photos, an excerpt, as well as the chance to win an autographed copy of the book!

First Lines Fridays [3]

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?
THE LINES
The first one on the production team to die will be the editor. He doesn't yet feel ill, and he's no longer out in the field. He went out only once, before filming started, to see the woods and to shake the hands of the men whose footage he'd be shaping; asymptomatic transmission.

Cover Reveal: Ocean of the Stars (Twelfth Keeper 3) by Belle Malory

Ocean by the Stars (Twelfth Keeper 3) by Belle Malory
Publication date: January 7th 2017
Genre(s): Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
ADD TO GOODREADS
One keeper down. Eleven to go.

Kennedy Mitchell has just survived an alien attack, but at what cost? The world still isn’t safe. The keepers still aren’t strong enough to defend it. The people still have no idea how much is at stake.

The Department of Extraterrestrials is planning an important mission, one that means seeking the help of another planet in order to save theirs. Kennedy is reluctant to leave at such a critical time, but her role in the mission is essential to its success. With everyone she loves still at risk, she’s willing to do anything to find the key to survival.
Even if that means crossing the universe.
PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE SERIES

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THE AUTHOR
I don't consider myself a writer. I'm a storyteller.

My two great loves are books and coffee. If it weren't for books, my heart wouldn't feel as full. And if it weren't for coffee, I wouldn't know what mornings are. That being said, the guy at Starbucks knows me well. He sings to me sometimes.

I live in Orlando, Florida with my family and two rescue mutts. Their personalities are like night and day. One is gold. The other is black. The gold one doesn't like to sleep in. Before I've had my coffee, we are enemies.

You can visit me at http://www.bellemalory.blogspot.com. I love hearing from readers!


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10 New-To-Me Authors I Read For the First Time in 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Missed last week's Top Ten Tuesday, but I'm back! School has been hectic lately. :( Anyways this week's topic is books by authors I read for the first time this year. There are actually so many more; I'm surprised by how many!

1. Laini Taylor
Taylor definitely made an impression on me. I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone and am excited to see what will happen further into the series!

2. Katie McGarry
McGarry is best known for her teen romances featuring seriously hunky dudes. Nowhere But Here is my first read from her, and she did not disappoint! Will definitely be checking out her many other books.

3. Gayle Forman

If I Stay was a decent read, but nothing special strikes me when I think of Forman's writing. I wouldn't not read another book by her, but I won't be actively seeking it.