Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Can't Wait for Crescent City

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Crescent City (House of Earth and Blood, # 1)

By: Sarah J Maas

Expected Publication: March 3rd 2020 by Bloomsbury Publishing

648 pages

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Half-Fae, half-human Bryce Quinlan loves her life. By day, she works for an antiquities dealer, selling barely legal magical artifacts, and by night, she parties with her friends, savouring every pleasure Lunathion—otherwise known as Crescent City— has to offer. But it all comes crumbling down when a ruthless murder shakes the very foundations of the city—and Bryce’s world.

Two years later, her job has become a dead end, and she now seeks only blissful oblivion in the city’s most notorious nightclubs. But when the murderer attacks again, Bryce finds herself dragged into the investigation and paired with an infamous Fallen angel whose own brutal past haunts his every step.

Hunt Athalar, personal assassin for the Archangels, wants nothing to do with Bryce Quinlan, despite being ordered to protect her. She stands for everything he once rebelled against and seems more interested in partying than solving the murder, no matter how close to home it might hit. But Hunt soon realizes there’s far more to Bryce than meets the eye—and that he’s going to have to find a way to work with her if they want to solve this case.

As Bryce and Hunt race to untangle the mystery, they have no way of knowing the threads they tug ripple through the underbelly of the city, across warring continents, and down to the darkest levels of Hel, where things that have been sleeping for millennia are beginning to stir...

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, October 14, 2019

All Things Halloween Review - The First Girl Child

The First Girl Child

By: Amy Harmon

Publication: August 20th 2019 by 47North

391 pages

Genre: Adult, Fantasy

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--From ​the New York Times bestselling author comes a breathtaking fantasy of a cursed kingdom, warring clans, and unexpected salvation.

Bayr of Saylok, bastard son of a powerful and jealous chieftain, is haunted by the curse once leveled by his dying mother. Bartered, abandoned, and rarely loved, she plagued the land with her words: From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok.

Raised among the Keepers at Temple Hill, Bayr is gifted with inhuman strength. But he’s also blessed with an all-too-human heart that beats with one purpose: to protect Alba, the first girl child born in nearly two decades and the salvation for a country at risk.

Now the fate of Saylok lies with Alba and Bayr, whose bond grows deeper with every whisper of coming chaos. Charged with battling the enemies of their people, both within and without, Bayr is fueled further by the love of a girl who has defied the scourge of Saylok.

What Bayr and Alba don’t know is that they each threaten the king, a greedy man who built his throne on lies, murder, and betrayal. There is only one way to defend their land from the corruption that has overtaken it. By breaking the curse, they could defeat the king…but they could also destroy themselves.

I already know I'm going to have a hard time reviewing The First Girl Child. Basically here's my thought process throughout the book:

Prologue: "Ugh I hate children prologues." And "Are these the main characters?" To answer that question...no the prologue isn't from the main two characters.

Up to like 50%: "Why are we staying in their childhood so long? I want some juicy romance which is going to be weird because these two are basically like brother and sister."

50-70%: "Things are picking up speed. I've highlighted some good quotes and sections."

70-90%: "Okay so I clearly like this book. Yet I really have missed the deep romance being built."

90-100%: "Well that wrapped up well. I wouldn't mind reading more set in the same world."

Here's the thing, I love romance. It's my favorite part of any story, and it just so happens that the book I finished before The First Girl Child also ended up not having a romance. So I was disappointed back to back. Now let me be clear... There IS a romance (two in fact) in The First Girl Child but neither was the exact focus of the story. And what did happen was a lot of time spent building back story into the two main characters. A separation. And then a sudden jump to a relationship. Much of what could have been explored was left out.

The world-building was exquisite. I could picture the culture, the island, the temple, the characters, and their gods. There was enough of a history to give things a well-rounded feel without it seeming like a history book. I truly hope Amy Harmon returns to this setting in the future.

I loved the greater story here. At times I felt like it was just another "oh poor pitiful women being abused by the all-powerful men in their lives." But that really wasn't what it was about. In an attempt to curse men and prevent women from suffering at the hands of them, all Desdemona did was create more suffering for everyone, specifically, the women continued to suffer more than the men.

Favorite quotes:

-"The gods reward our faith in the face of fear, Bayr. On the other side of fear is triumph."

-"W-when I'm grown, I w-won't b-be a-afraid," Bayr murmmered, hopeful. "You'll still be afraid. But you must do what is right, what you must, despite that fear."

-"...strength without wisdom is dangerous."

-The view, no matter which direction he stood, took Dagmar's breath and added it to the sky.

-...it was easy to confuse responsibility with power.

-But her hate was no match for her love.

-"Is she beautiful?" Dagmar frowned, startled. "I don't know, Master. She is ... frightening. And dirty. And sad. But ... she could be beautiful if ... someone ... loved her."

-The king withdrew the blade once more, and the dead man paid homage to his boots.

-"Life is not kind to women," Ghost sighed. "My sister said the same thing. But life is not especially kind to men either. Life is suffering, and we all suffer." ... "Even amid the suffering, the good is not hard to find"...

I enjoyed The First Girl Child. It was deep, multifaceted, and had great world-building. I didn't want to stop reading, and thankfully I was able to keep reading through most of this book without needing to put it down. I'm afraid frequently needing to take breaks for real life would have severely impacted (for the negative) my experience with this book. As it stands, I was already battling the lack of romantic build-up. This is not the book for you if you're looking for all the warm and fuzzies that come with love stories. The First Girl Child still gets 4 Stars. Have you read The First Girl Child? What did you think? Let me know.

This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Sunday Post - 10/13/19

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This was a busy week. Tuesday I had a chiropractor appointment. The kids went to Grammy's for the day and my appointment was really fast so I killed it cleaning house when I got home. Folded and put away all the clothes. Deep cleaned our two bathrooms. Vacuumed and mopped all of the floors. Washed the shower curtains and bathroom mats. And I even did a deep look at our finances while watching some old episodes of Grey's Anatomy that I'm behind on. Wednesday I took Little Boy for a haircut. Oh man, I regret that. Not only did she nick his ear causing it to bleed, but she also gapped him TWICE. He looks like she was trying to give him a bowl cut. (Do you guys remember those?) And we're doing family pictures this coming Wednesday so there's that. But I can't fully blame her because he wouldn't be still despite me letting him watch some videos on my phone. Thursday was Husband's birthday. The kids and I went for an early walk, and then because the weather was so nice we played outside for two hours. Little Girl helped me making some cookies for him. My parents took us to dinner for Husband's birthday Thursday night. Friday I had to get groceries instead of Saturday. Saturday we went to Husband's cousin's wedding. So much going on. And we likely won't be slowing down much until New Year's at this point.

My annual "All Things Halloween" event started last Tuesday. This is my month-long event where I feature reviews from Halloween-y genres (fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, sci-fi, horror, mystery, thriller, and suspense). Over the last few years I've had mostly fantasy books as I just haven't been in the mood for much horror, but still...these are books that can get you in the mood for Halloween.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, # 8) by Darynda Jones (3.5 Stars)
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Scavenge the Stars (Scavenge the Stars, # 1) by Tara Sim

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: All Things Halloween Review of The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to link up for the 2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2019 to sing up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Can't Wait for Scavenge the Stars

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Scavenge the Stars (Scavenge the Stars, # 1)

By: Tara Sim

Expected Publication: January 7th 2020 by Disney Hyperion

336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--When Amaya rescues a mysterious stranger from drowning, she fears her rash actions have earned her a longer sentence on the debtor ship where she’s been held captive for years. Instead, the man she saved offers her unimaginable riches and a new identity, setting Amaya on a perilous course through the coastal city-state of Moray, where old-world opulence and desperate gamblers collide. Amaya wants one thing: revenge against the man who ruined her family and stole the life she once had. But the more entangled she becomes in this game of deception—and as her path intertwines with the son of the man she’s plotting to bring down—the more she uncovers about the truth of her past. And the more she realizes she must trust no one…

Packed with high-stakes adventure, romance, and dueling identities, this gender-swapped retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo is the first novel in an epic YA fantasy duology, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo.

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, October 7, 2019

All Things Halloween Review - Eighth Grave After Dark

Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, # 8)

By: Darynda Jones

Publication: May 19th 2015 by St. Martin's Press

293 pages

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Mystery

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--With twelve hellhounds after her, pregnant Charley Davidson takes refuge at the only place she thinks they can’t get to her: the grounds of an abandoned convent. But after months of being cooped up there, Charley is ready to pop. Both metaphorically and literally since she is now roughly the size of a beached whale. Fortunately, a new case has captured her attention, one that involves a murder on the very grounds the team has taken shelter upon. A decades-old murder of the newly-vowed nun she keeps seeing in the shadows is almost enough to pull her out of her doldrums.

Charley’s been forbidden to step foot off the sacred grounds. While the angry hellhounds can’t traverse the consecrated soil, they can lurk just beyond its borders. They have the entire team on edge, especially Reyes. And if Charley didn’t know better, she would swear Reyes is getting sick. He grows hotter with every moment that passes, his heat scorching across her skin every time he’s near, but naturally he swears he’s fine.

While the team searches for clues on the Twelve, Charley just wants answers and is powerless to get them. But the mass of friends they’ve accrued helps. They convince her even more that everyone in her recent life has somehow been drawn to her, as though they were a part of a bigger picture all along. But the good feelings don’t last for long because Charley is about to get the surprise of her crazy, mixed-up, supernatural life….

I had to take a short break between book 7 and this one. But the break didn't stop me from getting into Eighth Grave After Dark almost immediately. I was slightly thrown off by the time jump as all of the previous books are almost immediately one after the other. It's been eight months from where the last book left off. The time jump makes sense as the characters have been stuck on sacred ground for that time and it would be quite the boring book for them to never be able to leave for months. As it was, Eighth Grave After Dark does advance the overall storyline and Charley does have a mystery to solve (even from the safety of the convent). Yet it felt like not much was happening... probably due to the exact fact that Charley couldn't leave the convent.

I mentioned this before, but I love the pop culture references without name dropping. Name dropping always feels as if the author is trying too hard to be current, cool, or trendy. The way Darynda Jones does them is just right.

I've also mentioned this before, but I do get frustrated with the amount of information that's kept from Charley at times. She gets frustrated too. But since this has been going on for several books (or well...all of them) I'm a little beyond this being a plot tool.

I will also say that the alternate dimension pieces have increased and are getting so prevalent that I'm beginning to get a little frustrated. For some reason, this concept is something that I've always struggled with books. I hope that this doesn't cause me to lose interest in the series since I'm known to struggle with this type of thing.

Several things happened at the end of the book that has me excited about what's to come. Ultimately, Eighth Grave After Dark was probably my least favorite of the series so far. I still enjoyed it, but I certainly had more issues with this book than any of the prior ones. Eighth Grave After Dark gets 3.5 Stars. Have you read Eighth Grave After Dark? What did you think?

This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Sunday Post - 10/06/19

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Monday was a pretty normal day. I decorated the house for Halloween which the kids loved when they got up from nap/quiet time. Tuesday I let them put some window cling stickers up for Halloween which they loved too. I thought that would be a great, cheap, and easy way to include them in the decorating process without risking any breakable items. Then I took them to Grammy's house so I could get my hair done. It was a cut and color appointment, and I was there for about 3 hours. That's a long time to be in the chair, but it was nice to just be out and enjoy doing something for myself. Wednesday was again a normal day. Thursday we took Mom and Dad out for dinner for my Dad's birthday. Friday was normal. Saturday was grocery shopping and then we hauled the kids out for shoe shopping. Little Girl is getting to the age where she needs to try her shoes on to see if they're comfortable or not. And I wasn't 100% sure that I was getting the right size for them. Then we took them to get lunch at a place that has an indoor playground. They had a blast. I actually got to read a good bit more than normal on both Friday and Saturday which was super nice. (Be sure to enter my giveaway for Iron Gold linked below!)

My annual "All Things Halloween" event started Tuesday. This is my month-long event where I feature reviews from Halloween-y genres (fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, sci-fi, horror, mystery, thriller, and suspense). Over the last few years I've had mostly fantasy books as I just haven't been in the mood for much horror, but still...these are books that can get you in the mood for Halloween.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: September 2019 EOM Wrap Up
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Igniting Darkness (Courting Darkness Duology, # 2) by Robin LaFevers
Friday 9/27: All Things Halloween Review & Giveaway of Iron Gold (Red Rising, # 4) by Pierce Brown (4 Stars) - Be sure to enter!!!

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: All Things Halloween Review of Eight Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, # 8) by Darynda Jones
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to link up for the 2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2019 to sing up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

All Things Halloween Review & Giveaway - Iron Gold

Iron Gold (Red Rising, # 4)

By: Pierce Brown

Publication: January 16th 2018 by Del Rey Books

480 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--They call him father, liberator, warlord, Reaper. But he feels a boy as he falls toward the pale blue planet, his armor red, his army vast, his heart heavy. It is the tenth year of war and the thirty-second of his life.

A decade ago, Darrow was the hero of the revolution he believed would break the chains of the Society. But the Rising has shattered everything: Instead of peace and freedom, it has brought endless war. Now he must risk everything he has fought for on one last desperate mission. Darrow still believes he can save everyone, but can he save himself?

And throughout the worlds, other destinies entwine with Darrow’s to change his fate forever:

A young Red girl flees tragedy in her refugee camp and achieves for herself a new life she could never have imagined.

An ex-soldier broken by grief is forced to steal the most valuable thing in the galaxy—or pay with his life.

And Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile to the sovereign, wanders the stars with his mentor, Cassius, haunted by the loss of the world that Darrow transformed, and dreaming of what will rise from its ashes.

Red Rising was the story of the end of one universe, and Iron Gold is the story of the creation of a new one. Witness the beginning of a stunning new saga of tragedy and triumph from masterly New York Times bestselling author Pierce Brown.

Oh man! You guys, I am plumb ashamed at how long I put off reading Iron Gold. I really and truly am. Pierce Brown's Red Rising series smashed its way into my all-time favorite series list with the conclusion of Morning Star, which was believed to be the series ender at the time it published. These books have been so, so good, but at the same time, they are weighty. They are deep, complex, beautiful, ugly, sad, hopeful, angry, forgiving, and while I love them, they bleed me dry of my emotions. So after every single release, I've needed time to recover from the previous book. Even while dying to know what was going to happen next, I still needed an emotional break from what I previously devoured. This is one of the only series I've ever needed the entire year (and then some) between releases. I might initially think that's a bad thing, but it really and truly isn't. And that is the only reason why I've put off reading Iron Gold for as long as I have.

Iron Gold is set 10 years into the future from when Morning Star ended. I wish it would have been possible for me to have re-read the first three books before starting Iron Gold because I felt a little lost for the first 25% or so. Names of side characters, events, chronology... All of that just wasn't as fresh in my memory as I would have liked. Getting reacquainted with some old characters took longer than I wanted and caused a little slower of a start than I wanted.

Anytime a series ends and I'm happy with where the characters stand at the end, I struggle with torn feelings over the author choosing to return to the series. On the one hand, I'm excited to return to a world and characters that I love, yet on the other hand, I'm nervous because more books mean more conflict and a new ending that might not leave me as satisfied as the original did. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't wonder about this exact thing in the early chapters of Iron Gold when Brown was establishing the conflict for this book and the rest of the series. But he's seen me through some pretty rough spots already, and I have faith he'll see me through the rest of the series.

I was thrown off to see that Iron Gold features multiple narrators. We have Darrow--as always--and now Lyria, Ephraim, and Lysander also. Each person added a perspective only they could reveal for the different parts of the story and world. I didn't want to read anyone but Darrow in the beginning. Lyria is angry at the republic for the promises that they've failed to keep. She blames them for the deaths of her family members. And really she represents the average Martian citizen. I grew to like her as she grew in her character. Ephraim was easy to hate. I know everyone handles grief differently, but we also all have a choice in how we feel and how we react to the things that happen in our lives. Ephraim plays the victim in a similar way to Lyria, except he has a lot more information and control over things than she does. And he chooses wrong over and over. His pain blinds him entirely and he allows it to be an excuse. I could do without him in future books. Lysander...oh Lysander. I want so badly to like him, to support him. He's actually fairly easy to like. It seems like he's trying to do right, but I believe his ideas on what is right are a bit skewed. But that's kind of a running theme through this series. Right versus wrong and all the gray areas in between. And Darrow...oh Darrow. All I'll say here is that Pierce Brown does a wonderful job placing doubt in the reader's mind. But it's not hard to do so when Darrow doubts himself as well. I have my fingers crossed for Darrow. He's never been the perfect hero, but I can tell you right now that if things go south through these additional books and screws up the ending I was satisfied within Morning Star when it comes to Darrow I'm going to be highly ticked.

Even though I forgot several characters and names, some are unforgettable. Mustang, Sevro, Victra, Pax, Kavax, Holliday, Cassius, and some of the more prominent Howlers were involved as you would expect. I can't say much about any of them without spoiling things that shouldn't be spoiled. I do want to mention that I love how Pierce Brown has some amazingly strong female characters amid his cast of amazingly strong male characters. The strength of one gender doesn't necessitate the weakness of the other. Both equally strong male and female character. Both feminine and masculine. Both emotional and logical. I love these characters. I need more. I'm insatiable.

I do have to say that there were no real surprises for me throughout the story. Every piece that felt like it should have been a twist...I saw coming in some form or other. This was a little disappointing to me because Brown has done such a great job in the past of letting me figure some things out while completely blowing me away with other things.

I also just wanted to say that Pierce Brown incorporates the lack of knowledge very well. Not all the characters are aware of the same information at the same time. Some are still missing crucial information when the book ends. This is something that I respect from George R R Martin's work that's really a great conflict creator.

Another slightly disappointing thing for me was the lack of quotable moments. If you go back to my reviews of the previous books you will see that I had a hard time restraining myself with all of the great quotes. But here are my favorites from Iron Gold:

-"Because when the law is not obeyed, the ground is fertile for tyrants."

-Sharing a life threads more than flesh and blood together. It weaves her memories in and around and through mine.

-My wife is not as fickle as a flame. She is an ocean. I knew from the first that I cannot own her, cannot take her, but I am the only storm that moves her depths and stirs her tides.

-"Do not let fear touch you. Fear is a torrent. The raging river. To fight it is to break and drown. But to stand astride it is to see it, feel it, and use its course for your own whims."

-"I know it may be impossible to believe now, when everything is dark and broken, but you will survive this pain, little one. Pain is a memory. You will live and you will struggle and you will find joy. And you will remember your family from this breath to your dying days, because love does not fade. Love is the stars, and its light carries on long after death."

-"A new wound can take a body. Opening an old one can claim a soul."

-The key to learning, to power, to having the final say in everything, is observation. By all means, be a storm inside, but save your movement and wind till you know your purpose.

Iron Gold was a good start to reopen this series. Yet I found it a little lacking compared to the previous books. I wasn't caught off guard by any twists. The story did hook me once I got past the first 25%. By 50% I was dying to read until I could finish. I truly hope that I can pick up Dark Age pretty soon. Iron Gold gets 4 Stars. Have you read Iron Gold? What did you think? Let me know!

This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.

Also, the publisher kindly gifted me a copy of Iron Gold to giveaway to a friend. It was always my intention to give it away here on my blog as I posted my review. Please enter the rafflecopter widget below. (US entries only please. I'm sorry, but I have to pay shipping myself.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Can't Wait for Igniting Darkness

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Igniting Darkness (Courting Darkness, # 2)

By: Robin LaFevers

Expected Publication: June 2nd 2020 by HMH Books for Young Readers

496 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--From New York Times best-selling author Robin LaFevers comes the follow up to “sharp and breathless” (Kirkus Reviews) historical fantasy Courting Darkness. Set in the world of the beloved His Fair Assassin series, this is perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Game of Thrones.

When you count Death as a friend, who can stand as your enemy?

Sybella, novitiate of the convent of Saint Mortain and Death’s vengeance on earth, is still reeling from her God’s own passing, and along with him a guiding hand in her bloody work. But with her sisters on the run from their evil brother and under the watchful eye of her one true friend (and love) at court, the soldier known as Beast, Sybella stands alone as the Duchess of Brittany’s protector.

After months of seeking her out, Sybella has finally made contact with a fellow novitiate of the convent, Genevieve, a mole in the French court. But when Genevieve mistakenly draws the attention of the French king to the convent of Saint Mortain and its deadly arts, she may do her sisters (and herself) more harm than good. Sybella, having already drawn the ire of the French regent, may not be able to depend on her sister and ally as much as she hoped. Still, Death always finds a way, even if it’s not what one expects.

No one can be trusted and the wolves are always waiting in this thrilling conclusion to the Courting Darkness duology, set in the world of Robin’s beloved His Fair Assassins trilogy.

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, September 30, 2019

September 2019 EOM Wrap Up

I have read 6 books (not including children's books). *These qualify for the 2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
Iron Gold (Red Rising, # 4) by Pierce Brown
The Dirt on Ninth Grave (Charley Davidson, # 9) by Darynda Jones
Hope's Highest Mountain (Heirs of Montana, # 1) by Misty M Beller
Aiming for Love (Brides of Hope Mountain, # 1) by Mary Connealy
The Upside of Falling by Alex Light
The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson


I have reviewed 5 books. *These qualify for the 2018 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
Verity (The Sugar Baron's Daughter, # 2) by Lisa T Bergren
*Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, # 3) by Jenny Han
Never Have I Ever by Lauren Blakely
The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey
Saving Everest by Sky Chase

Other Posts:
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 09/01/19
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 09/15/19
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 09/29/19
Ten Books I've Been Avoiding
Top Ten Fall 2019 TBR List
Can't Wait for Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters
Can't Wait for The Runaway Bride (The Bride Ships, # 2) by Jody Hedlund
Can't Wait for Selah (The Sugar Baron's Daughter, # 3) by Lisa T Bergren
Can't Wait for Throw Like a Girl by Sarah Henning
2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge - September Wrap Up

Goals:
I'm 6 days ahead of schedule with my Bible-in-a-year plan.
I've read 69 out of 52 books (including children's books).
I've read 4 out of 5-10 series enders.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 09/29/19

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

I did it again. I missed last week's recap. I usually prep my Sunday Post on Saturday, but last week we were traveling for my niece's birthday party. She was such a doll and a great gift opener. Every gift was like her favorite thing ever. (She's 3.) Little Girl and Little Boy both had so much fun playing with her. This week was pretty normal. We walked when we could. The earlier part of the week had cooler (still high 80s) temps. We played outside. Thursday I took the kids on a spontaneous trip to the park. A large cloud hung out over the park while we were there which kept things cooler than they would have been otherwise. Friday, Little Boy and I had to run some errands after dropping sister off at school.

THE PAST TWO WEEKS:

Monday 9/16: Review of Never Have I Ever by Lauren Blakely (4 Stars)
Wednesday 9/18: Can't Wait for Selah (The Sugar Baron's Daughter, # 3) by Lisa T Bergren

Monday 9/23: Review of The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey (3.5 Stars)
Tuesday 9/24: Top Ten Fall 2019 TBR List
Wednesday 9/25: Can't Wait for Throw Like a Girl by Sarah Henning & 2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge - September Wrap Up
Friday 9/27: Review of Saving Everest by Sky Chase (3.5 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: September 2019 EOM Wrap Up
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday
Thursday: All Things Halloween Review of Iron Gold (Red Rising, # 4) by Pierce Brown + Giveaway

Don’t forget to link up for the 2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2019 to sing up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

A Pursuit of Home (Haven Manor, # 3)

By: Kristi Ann Hunter

Expected Publication: November 5th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

352 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--When she learns the family she thought dead might be alive and in danger, Jess Beuchene knows her secrets can only stay buried for so long. Desperation brings her to Derek Thornbury, an expert in history and artifacts, to help her decipher the clues in an old family diary. Will their search to uncover the truth of the past lead to a future together?

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Saving Everest - Review

Saving Everest

By: Sky Chase

Expected Publication: October 8th 2019 by Wattpad Books

352 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--From the outside, Everest has it all, but there’s only one girl who can see him for who he truly is...and it changes his life forever.

Everest is the most popular guy in school. As the handsome and wealthy captain of the football team, he has the world at his fingertips, but he’s desperately unhappy. Unconvinced that he should live, he tries to take his life. On the surface, Beverly’s different from Everest in every way. Quiet, shy, and hard working, she keeps to herself, focusing on her schoolwork and part-time job to distract herself from her less-than-perfect home life.

When Everest returns to school, in more pain than ever, he’s discarded by his friends and girlfriend, and draws little empathy and too much attention from those who surround him. But when Beverly and Everest meet unexpectedly in a dusty corner of the library, together they discover how just how rich life can be.

I was hesitant about requesting Saving Everest. Sometimes I look forward to dark stories that can move me emotionally, and sometimes they just end up draining me. In the case of Saving Everest, I did begin to wonder if the depression that Everest was suffering from was too much for my personal "read for fun" time. I mean his depression was bad enough to cause him to attempt suicide. But thankfully the story didn't stay here too long.

I will say before moving on from that too much that we do see some of the things Everest was struggling with. His father is domineering, unsupportive, and harsh. His mother seems uninvolved or uninterested. He has friends and a girlfriend but I suppose we learn that they're not true friends. And he plays football, but I never really figured out if he hated football, the attention it brought him, or the pressure he felt to perform. So I found myself questioning how things got so bad for him to consider ending his own life. But maybe that was the point of it all? You're not really supposed to understand depression because it isn't always logical.

It was a little hard for me to believe that Everest is completely surrounded by people who are so cold and callous. That ranging from close family to supposed friends to random strangers to teachers could all be very cold toward him and the things that he was struggling with. Again, thankfully the book didn't stay stuck in this place for too terribly long. But I did have to question that there weren't more people with softer hearts.

Beverly was a breath of fresh air. She breathed life into the book just as much as she breathed life into Everest. I worried that things would be too literal with the title and Beverly single-handedly saving Everest from his depression. It's never a great idea to bank your entire happiness upon another person as that person could be taken from you at any time. And while Beverly does change things for Everest, I don't think the credit is only hers.

I was a little confused as to how Nami could be popular enough socially to be student body president when she seemed to be so abrasive to so many people. Of course, I came to really enjoy her character.

Saving Everest had moments that felt like continuity errors to me. Some I've already mentioned. Also, Everest complained at one point about the pressure to perform with football and how he'd come to hate people approaching him and praising him based off the game, yet when he turned to singing the same thing happened. He put pressure on himself to be perfect, to perform. And he constantly had more and more people approaching him in response to his music. At the same time, especially toward the end of the book, I felt like there were entire missing pieces of the story. A little more polish would have helped.

All of that being said, I read Saving Everest pretty fast. I didn't want to stop. As a matter of fact, I stayed up a little late two nights just to keep reading. It wasn't a perfect read for me. I felt some pieces were missing and others were contradictory. But overall, I loved Everest and Beverly. Saving Everest gets 3.5 Stars. Have you read Saving Everest? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Can't Wait for Throw Like a Girl

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Throw Like a Girl

By: Sarah Henning

Expected Publication: January 7th 2020 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

368 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Friday Night Lights meets Morgan Matson's The Unexpected Everything in this contemporary debut where swoonworthy romance meets underdog sports story.

When softball star Liv Rodinsky throws one ill-advised punch during the most important game of the year, she loses her scholarship to her fancy private school, her boyfriend, and her teammates all in one fell swoop. With no other options, Liv is forced to transfer to the nearest public school, Northland, where she'll have to convince its coach she deserves a spot on the softball team, all while facing both her ex and the teammates of the girl she punched... Every. Single. Day.

Enter Grey, the injured star quarterback with amazing hair and a foolproof plan: if Liv joins the football team as his temporary replacement, he'll make sure she gets a spot on the softball team in the spring. But it will take more than just a flawless spiral for Liv to find acceptance in Northland's halls, and behind that charismatic smile, Grey may not be so perfect after all.

With well-drawn characters and a charming quarterback love interest who's got brains as well as brawn, Throw Like a Girl will have readers swooning from the very first page.

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge - September Wrap Up

Time for our Monthly Wrap Up for the 2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Since our last monthly wrap up, Holly finished Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, # 7) by Sarah J Maas.

Which series enders did you finish? Link the up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the August giveaway runs from September 25th - October 25th. On October 25th we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a winner.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Top Ten Fall 2019 TBR List

Top 10 Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but is currently hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is Top Ten Fall 2019 TBR List.

  1. Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, # 7) by Sarah J Maas - Holly finally finished so I'm just knocking out some review books before I pick this up.
  2. Dark Age (Red Rising, # 5) by Pierce Brown
  3. A Pursuit of Home (Haven Manor, # 3) by Kristi Ann Hunter
  4. Diamond in the Rough (American Heiress, # 2) by Jen Turano
  5. Realm of Knights (Knights of the Realm, # 1) by Jennifer Anne Davis
  6. Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, # 1) by Rosaria Mundo
  7. The How & the Why by Cynthia Hand
  8. The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson
  9. The Hive by Barry Lyga & Morgan Baden
  10. The Number of Love (The Codebreakers, # 1) by Roseanna M White

Which books are on your fall 2019 TBR list? Let me know!

Monday, September 23, 2019

The Library of Lost Things - Review

The Library of Lost Things

By: Laura Taylor Namey

Expected Publication: October 8th 2019 by Inkyard Press

384 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--From the moment she first learned to read, literary genius Darcy Wells has spent most of her time living in the worlds of her books. There, she can avoid the crushing reality of her mother’s hoarding and pretend her life is simply ordinary. But when a new property manager becomes more active in the upkeep of their apartment complex, the only home Darcy has ever known outside of her books suddenly hangs in the balance.

While Darcy is struggling to survive beneath the weight of her mother’s compulsive shopping, Asher Fleet, a former teen pilot with an unexpectedly shattered future, walks into the bookstore where she works…and straight into her heart. For the first time in her life, Darcy can’t seem to find the right words. Fairy tales are one thing, but real love makes her want to hide inside her carefully constructed ink-and-paper bomb shelter.

Still, after spending her whole life keeping people out, something about Asher makes Darcy want to open up. But securing her own happily-ever-after will mean she’ll need to stop hiding and start living her own truth—even if it’s messy.

I usually try to review a finished book before moving onto a new book, but these days it's easier to move on to another book than it is to sit down and type up a review. So The Library of Lost Things isn't as fresh in my mind as I'd like.

I picked up The Library of Lost Things because of the hoarding aspect. I can't say that I've ever read a book that dealt with this subject in any form. So the uniqueness really brought me in. Husband isn't a hoarder, but he certainly attaches sentiment to objects whereas I'm much less sentimental with material things. And Laura Taylor Namey really took on the topic well I thought. Of course, we weren't seeing the hoarding from Darcy's mother's perspective but from Darcy's.

While I liked Darcy and I liked Asher, I did feel like the romance between the two was missing something. It was a slow build for sure, which I usually like, but I wish there would have been a bit more heat or passion I guess. I don't know. Something hard to put my finger on was missing.

Initially I was annoyed with Darcy's "word of the day". This is a little overused in YA books where characters are prepping for the SATs. But this wasn't the deal at all and was worked into the overall story much better than I've ever seen it before.

For a debut, I thought Laura Taylor Namey showed a lot of promise. She wrote with a purpose. Her words chosen specifically and often poetically. It wasn't lyrical like I've seen from Lauren Oliver, Maggie Stiefvater, or Tahereh Mafi. But her words had multiple meanings at times which I can certainly appreciate. I will look out for future books from her, but I also hope to see some continued polish with pacing, the romantic relationship, and a few other areas.

The one area and character that never disappointed was best friend Marisol. The easiest choice for the best best friend of the year so far. Everything about her was wonderful. She was supportive. She never battled Darcy for center-stage. She was amazing. I loved her. I wish I had my own Marisol.

Favorite quote:

-"Don't you know? You've got me, Wells."

I want to talk more about the cause of the hoarding and how Darcy handled her relationship with her mother, but I feel like most of that is spoiler-area. I will say that some of the ultimate conflict didn't have the "oomph" that I was looking for.

The Library of Lost Things was a solid debut for author Laura Taylor Namey. It wasn't perfect. I wanted a little bit more passion from the romance and felt ultimately the build up behind the hoarding wasn't quite what I wanted it to be. Yet, I loved the side relationships. Marisol, in particular, was awesome. I'll be looking out for more from this author. The Library of Lost Things gets 3.5 Stars. Have you read The Library of Lost Things? What did you think? Let me know!