Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (383)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: Fake Blood
Author: Whitney Gardner
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

From Goodreads:

It’s the beginning of the new school year and AJ feels like everyone is changing but him. He hasn’t grown or had any exciting summer adventures like his best friends have. He even has the same crush he’s harbored for years. So AJ decides to take matters into his own hands. But how could a girl like Nia Winters ever like plain vanilla AJ when she only has eyes for vampires?

When AJ and Nia are paired up for a group project on Transylvania, it may be AJ’s chance to win over Nia’s affection by dressing up like the vamp of her dreams. And soon enough he’s got more of Nia’s attention than he bargained for when he learns she’s a slayer.

Now AJ has to worry about self-preservation while also trying to save everyone he cares about from a real-life threat lurking in the shadows of Spoons Middle School.

This sounds fun and quirky and full of weird kids. It sounds like something a little different than most middle grade stories. And the fact that it's a graphic novel, I'm so on board.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Me on A Quick Note

Hi all.

I'm really sorry about the recent lack of posts with no reason why. I'm trying to sort through some personal stuff right now, but I'm really hoping to be back this week with a new Waiting on Wednesday post and a new review going up on Friday.

Thanks so much for those who are sticking around and those who are willing to come back once things get regular again.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (382)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: Wildcard
Author: Marie Lu
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (Penguin imprint)

From Goodreads:

Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo's new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she's always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo's grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone's put a bounty on Emika's head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn't all that he seems--and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

I'm really looking forward to reading this, but from the mystery/tech/e-sports side. Not the romance side. When reading Warcross, the romance part between Emiko and Hideo felt really weird to me. But that's my opinion. I'm curious to see how everything will play out and how it'll all end.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Me on The Bird and the Blade

Title: The Bird and the Blade
Author: Megan Bannen
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins imprint)

As a slave in the Kipchak Khanate, Jinghua has lost everything: her home, her family, her freedom... until she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father as they flee from their enemies across the vast Mongol Empire. On the run, with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead, Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks' exile to return home, a plan that becomes increasingly fraught as her feelings for Khalaf evolve into a hopeless love. Jinghua's already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht, the daughter of the Great Khan. As beautiful as she is cunning, Turandokht requires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand—and if they fail, they die. Jinghua has kept her own counsel well, but with Khalaf's kingdom—and his very life—on the line, she must reconcile the hard truth of her past with her love for a boy who has no idea what she's capable of... even if it means losing him to the girl who'd sooner take his life than his heart.

The Bird and the Blade is the tale of a young woman desperate to survive and desperate to keep those around her alive.

Jinghua is caught up in a life of slavery, taken from her home and forced to serve a khan in the Mongol Empire. Her life is now hard, desolate, and possibly haunted. But when everything is flipped around and she has to run, she find an unlikely saviour in Prince Khalaf, the son of the man she's enslaved to. Now the two of them, along with his now deposed and stubborn father, are on the run, racing towards safety and hope for the future. All Jinghua wants is to leave the empire, to find a place back home, but how will she do that as a slave? As a young woman with nothing? And so comes her journey across deserts and through cities as she struggles to keep the three of them travelling together while keeping her feelings for Khalaf, the one person to treat her like a human being since her enslavement, hidden.

I don't know the story of the original Italian opera that the author took inspiration from, nor do I know much about this time period when it comes to the Mongol Empire, so I can't say anything in terms of accuracy. Overall, it's an interesting story of a young woman caught by circumstance and plotting wanting to escape but deciding to stay because of certain reasons. I can see where it tugs at the reader's emotions. Jinghua's memories of life before she was taken, her days in the Song Empire with her parents and brother. The ripples and anger that pas between Khalaf and his father. The ending. I thought this was okay, I liked it well enough but found it slow, but I can see fans of historical fantasy YA and sweeping heartbreaking stories enjoying this.

(I received an advance copy of this title from HarperCollins Canada.)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (381)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: A Spark of White Fire
Author: Sangu Mandanna
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Publisher: Sky Pony Press

From Goodreads:

In a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships, a cursed queen sends her infant daughter away, a jealous uncle steals the throne of Kali from his nephew, and an exiled prince vows to take his crown back. 

Raised alone and far away from her home on Kali, Esmae longs to return to her family. When the King of Wychstar offers to gift the unbeatable, sentient warship Titania to a warrior that can win his competition, she sees her way home: she’ll enter the competition, reveal her true identity to the world, and help her famous brother win back the crown of Kali. 

It’s a great plan. Until it falls apart. 

Inspired by the Mahabharata and other ancient Indian stories, A Spark of White Fire is a lush, sweeping space opera about family, curses, and the endless battle between jealousy and love.

Oooooo, how interesting. I hope the plan falling apart part happens early on, I love it when the collapse of a plan happens early enough in the story that you also get to watch people fail and scramble and work their way up again. Also space opera? YES.