Wednesday, November 1, 2017

October 2017 EOM Wrap Up

October involved my annual All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books. With Asher's arrival this month, reading and blogging took a little back seat. Thankfully I had reviews scheduled ahead for the entire month, but I'm behind on responding to comments. I hope you guys understand. I hope everyone had a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

I have read 4 books this month (not including children's books). *These qualify for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
This Heart of Mine by CC Hunter
Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
This Tiny Perfect World by Lauren Gibaldi

I have reviewed 5 books this month. *These qualify for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
*The Raven King (The Raven King, # 4) by Maggie Stiefvater
The Bird and the Sword (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles, # 1) by Amy Harmon
Kiss of Fire (Imdalind, # 1) by Rebecca Ethington
Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, # 1) by Cassandra Clare
A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, # 2) by Sarah J Maas

Other Posts:
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 10/1/17
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 10/8/17
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 10/15/17
Sunday Post - 10/22/17
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 10/27/17
Top Ten New Book Boyfriends
Top Ten Autumn Book Covers
Top Ten Unique Book Titles
Can't Wait for The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers
Can't Wait for This Tiny Perfect World by Lauren Gibaldi
Can't Wait for This Heart of Mine by CC Hunter
Can't Wait for Instructions for a Secondhand Heart by Tamsyn Murray
2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - October Wrap Up

Goals:
I'm like 15 days AHEAD on my Bible reading plan.
I've read 59 out of 52 books.
I've read 8 out of 10-12 series enders.

A Word About November:
I'm trying to settle into my new normal with being a mother of two and adjusting to a new baby. Knowing that Asher would be arriving in October, I scheduled myself a blogging break for the entire month of November. Unlike when Ever was born, I don't have any reviews scheduled for the month. I also don't plan to be active with responding to comments or visiting other blogs. I really just want to use this time to enjoy my brand new baby. I hope you all understand. When Ever was born, I found that my reading time took a significant hit and blogging became a lot more "by the seat of my pants" than I'm used to. I feel sure that will be the same and maybe even worse now that I've got two littles to look after. But obviously, these two are my priority. Don't worry, I have December almost completely scheduled already so I'll definitely return to posting regularly then even if I'm still not able to visit others and comment as much as I'd like. I hope you all have a great November and Happy Thanksgiving (for the US).

Monday, October 30, 2017

All Things Halloween Review - A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, # 2)

By: Sarah J Maas

Published: May 3rd 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

626 pages

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Fae, Faeries

Source: Borrowed from Holly

( 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--Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

So first things first...what a rollercoaster! At the end of A Court of Thorns and Roses Feyre kills two innocent faeries in order to save Tamlin's life. But it goes beyond saving his life. The death of these two fae allowed Feyre to break the curse that Amarantha put on all of Prythian. However, Feyre's really in a dark place because she murdered these two faeries. She's depressed, doesn't feel worthy of having survived or the gift of new, immortal life that she's been given. And I expected from the end of that book that Tamlin might not be the person to help her overcome this place of darkness. So I expected it, but Lacy and Holly also warned me that the first 30ish% of A Court of Mist and Fury would be a struggle to read just as Feyre's struggling to live it. And it was. Or at least the first 25% was for me.

I said "rollercoaster," right? Here's how things went. I was rolling my eyes in the beginning. Drudging through bit by bit. Falling asleep from pregnancy exhaustion and a lack of interest in Feyre's struggles. Then Rhysand calls in his bargain with Feyre and pulls her to the Night Court for a week and I started to feel hope that he might be exactly what Feyre needs to snap out of her darkness. Tamlin does something stupid, and I was back to rolling my eyes. Feyre makes some choices that slow begin to pull her out of her depression and darkness and the seed of hope began again. Of course this part was something that I'd predicted to Holly and Lacy, but I won't state here to prevent spoilers. I was almost scared to hope for what I predicted though so I lived on in a state of anxiousness in this area until about 65-70%. In the meantime, Feyre and gang began to formulate a plan against the bigger bad (bigger than Amarantha),Getting to the 70-80% mark I was feeling all the feels of romance and love and swooning. But of course, we still have 20-30% left so we can't get too comfortable. Bad things must happen and anxiousness sets in again. Sure enough we find ourselves in quite an unfortunate situation where I was a little frustrated and miffed that the characters didn't see this coming. Then outrage over the stupidity of a once beloved character who will have a hard time redeeming themselves if that's even possible. And then furiousness that the book was approaching such a rapid close with the possibility of such a negative cliffhanger approaching. Or not necessarily cliffhanger, but just really negative circumstances for our characters. And then Sarah J Maas swoops in and gives me a bit of relief even if I'm not completely happy with where the book comes to a close. ROLLER. COASTER.

Now I realize that all of that was extremely vague and probably didn't quite help you out if you were having a hard time deciding if you want to read this book/series or not. Well let me just tell...YOU DO! You definitely do want to read this book and this series. Sarah J Maas put a whole new level to every piece of the puzzle being linked and having a double meaning. I mean with my experience through her Throne of Glass series, I knew that she was capable of this, but her storytelling abilities in A Court of Mist and Fury went beyond, beyond, beyond anything I imagined.

As always, the secondary characters are rich and complex and colorful. I look forward so much to the added layers of story that each character (and perhaps a few new couples) might add to the next book/spin off.

I was snapping pictures galore (since I was reading this one on Holly's kindle) of sections that I thought were foreshadowing (one passage I didn't even realize was foreshadowing, but turned out to be major), witty one-liners, heated passages, words that made me swoon. Here are some of my favorite, non-spoiler quotes:

-"There have to be at least a dozen other hunters more experienced and skilled--" "Maybe there are. But you're the only one I trust."

-"You can be a pawn, be someone's reward, and spend the rest of your immortal life bowing and scraping and pretending you're less than him, than..., than any of us. If you want to pick that road, then fine. A shame, but it's your choices."

-"...I'll always make time for you."

-"I love my people and my family. Do not think I wouldn't become a monster to keep them protected."

-"So I followed the bond home."

-"Because you were breaking. And I couldn't find another way to save you."

-"To the stars who listen--and the dreams that are answered."

Oh I had many more quotes but they revealed just a bit too much.

I should have mentioned this in my review of A Court of Thorns and Roses but I do find myself annoyed with the names of people and places that I'm utterly unsure how to pronounce. I like unique, but give me some heads up on how to pronounce them so I'm not either mispronouncing them the entire time, skipping them entirely, or having to stop each time I come to the words to sound them out. The first book did have a pronunciation list at the END of the kindle edition that I read. This would have been better up front. But this book didn't have one at all as far as I recall and there were a few new names/places that could have used some explanation.

Language and sexually descriptive scenes place this series beyond young adult.

Sarah J Maas is a master craftsman when it comes to storytelling. I'll be checking out her future books for sure, and I can't wait to see how this series wraps up. I know there is likely frustration, swoon-worthy moments, and many twists to come. I debated giving A Court of Mist and Fury 4.5 Stars because of the slow beginning, but realized that such a beginning was utterly necessary to the overall story and to the transformation of Feyre's character that A Court of Mist and Fury can only deserve 5 Stars. Have you read A Court of Mist and Fury? What did you think? Let me know!

And because I can't resist discussing this, highlight for spoilers: Sarah J Maas is one of the few authors who has successfully had me jumping ship (relationships that is)...MORE THAN ONCE. After her mastery in this area in the Throne of Glass series, I was prepared for it in this one and actually specifically predicted this very thing to Lacy and Holly. However, to see it play out was masterfully done. And the moment where Rhys reveals all to Feyre from the beginning...before they even met up until that very moment...it was perfection. The slow process of Feyre's personal changes mixed with the inch by inch of Rhys revealing himself to her in just the right amounts and pieces leading to an epically deep bond and love between the two of them. THESE ARE THE LOVE STORIES THAT I LOVE TO READ ABOUT! Obviously there's physical attraction and flirting between the two from the very beginning, but the substance and foundation of their relationship goes so far beyond the physical. And the physical is magnified between them because of their deep emotional and soulful connection.

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

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 10/29/17

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 week has been a whirlwind. Monday I decided to do my grocery shopping early. Little Girl has not had the best week with potty training. It's almost like she knows her world is about to get turned upside down. She's also definitely hit the 2 year old "no" phase. And that's not the most fun. My mom went to get a 2nd opinion on her thumb and this doctor confirmed that she'll need to have it amputated. That will happen this coming week likely. I hate it so much for her as it is her dominant hand and she's big into sewing. She'll learn to adjust I'm sure, but it's going to take quite some time. Wednesday Husband and his mom took Little Girl to the fall festival at his mom's church. I wanted to go, but I just couldn't stand and walk around for that length of time. Thursday Little Girl and I went to spend the day with my mom. I also had my last doctor's appointment for Baby Boy and went by the hospital to pre-register. C-section is scheduled for 6:30 am tomorrow. Wish us well. That being said, I've got some more detailed info coming in my October Wrap Up to post on Wednesday, but I do plan to take a blogging break the entire month of November. I'll get back with you guys in December! Happy Halloween and a happy early Thanksgiving to you all!

My annual "All Things Halloween" event ends Monday. 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.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: All Things Halloween Review of Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, # 1) by Cassandra Clare (4 Stars)
Tuesday: Ten Unique Book Titles
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Instructions for a Secondhand Heart by Tamsyn Murray & 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - October Wrap Up

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: All Things Halloween Review of A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns & Roses, # 2) by Sarah J Maas
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday (maybe)
Wednesday: October 2017 EOM Wrap Up

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 to sign 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.

The Becoming of Noah Shaw (The Shaw Confessions, # 1)

By: Michelle Hodkin

Expected Publication: November 7th 2017 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

384 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (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--In the first book of the Shaw Confessions, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, old skeletons are laid bare and new promises prove deadly. This is what happens after happily ever after.

Everyone thinks seventeen-year-old Noah Shaw has the world on a string.

They’re wrong.

Mara Dyer is the only one he trusts with his secrets and his future.

He shouldn’t.

And both are scared that uncovering the truth about themselves will force them apart.

They’re right.

A Quiet Kind of Thunder

By: Sara Barnard

Expected Publication: January 9th 2018 by Simon Pulse

400 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (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--A girl who can’t speak and a boy who can’t hear go on a journey of self-discovery and find support with each other in this gripping, emotionally resonant novel from bestselling author Sara Barnard. Perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Jandy Nelson.

Steffi doesn’t talk, but she has so much to say.
Rhys can’t hear, but he can listen.

Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life. The condition’s name has always felt ironic to her, because she certainly does not “select” not to speak. In fact, she would give anything to be able to speak as easily and often as everyone around her can. She suffers from crippling anxiety, and uncontrollably, in most situations simply can’t open her mouth to get out the words.

Steffi’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to help him acclimate. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk. As they find ways to communicate, Steffi discovers that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it. But as she starts to overcome a lifelong challenge, she’ll soon confront questions about the nature of her own identity and the very essence of what it is to know another person.

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 25, 2017

Can't Wait for Instructions for a Secondhand Heart

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.

Instructions for a Secondhand Heart

By: Tamsyn Murray

Expected Publication: December 5th 2017 by Poppy

320 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--A moving novel about grief, guilt, and the unpredictability of love, for fans of Everything, Everything and All the Bright Places.

Jonny knows better than anyone that life is full of cruel ironies. He's spent every day in a hospital hooked up to machines to keep his heart ticking. Then when a donor match is found for Jonny's heart, that turns out to be the cruelest irony of all. Because for Jonny's life to finally start, someone else's had to end.

That someone turns out to be Neve's twin brother, Leo. When Leo was alive, all Neve wanted was for him (and all his glorious, overshadowing perfection) to leave. Now that Leo's actually gone forever, Neve has no idea how to move forward. Then Jonny walks into her life looking for answers, her brother's heart beating in his chest, and everything starts to change.

Together, Neve and Jonny will have to face the future, no matter how frightening it is, while also learning to heal their hearts, no matter how much it hurts. The final book will feature select illustrations from "Jonny's" sketchbook.

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

2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - October Wrap Up

Time for our ninth Monthly Wrap Up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Since the September Wrap Up, neither Holly nor Sandy have finished any series enders.

Announcements/Reminders:

  1. Please make sure we have a valid email address or other means of contacting you if you choose to participate. Linking up to Goodreads is perfectly fine, but we have found that Goodreads is not a reliable source for contacting someone should you be selected as one of the monthly giveaway winners. This could be due to your Goodreads notification settings or Goodreads themselves could be at fault. We're not sure which. And since we want to make sure that everyone who is eligible for one of the giveaways will receive their prize should they win one month or the grand prize at the end of the year, it is up to you to ensure that we can contact you and that you respond within a reasonable amount of time (usually stated in the email notifying you of your winning).
  2. While the challenge and giveaways are open internationally, please make sure that you can receive e-gift cards via Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com. Again, we want to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to participate and to receive the prizes. Please remember that Holly and I are funding the giveaways out of our own pockets as something that we want to do, and we would like to continue to do so.

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 October giveaway runs from October 25th - November 25th. On November 25th we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a winner.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Ten Unique Book Titles

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Unique Book Titles.

I don't really know how unique these are...but these were some that stood out to me of the ones I've read.

  1. The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
  2. The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon
  3. Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas
  4. Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy, # 1) by Rae Carson
  5. Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez
  6. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  7. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith
  8. Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, # 3) by Maggie Stiefvater
  9. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, # 1) by Michelle Hodkin
  10. To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Which books have the most unique titles to you? Let me know!

Monday, October 23, 2017

All Things Halloween Review - Lady Midnight

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, # 1)

By: Cassandra Clare

Publication: March 8th 2016 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

786 pages

Genre: Young Adult (YA), Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Borrowed from Holly

( 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--Los Angeles. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to to discovering exactly what it was that killed her parents and getting her revenge.

Raised in the Los Angeles Institute with the Blackthorn family, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian Blackthorn. A series of murders in the city catch her attention — they seem to have the same characteristics as the deaths of her parents. Could the murderer be the same person? And her attention isn’t the only one caught: someone has been murdering Downworlders as well. The Fair Folk make a deal with the Institute: if the Blackthorns and Emma will investigate the killings, they’ll return Mark Blackthorn to his home. The catch: they have only two weeks to find the killers. Otherwise it’s open war between faeries and Nephilim.

The Shadowhunters of the Institute must race against time to catch the killers, even as they begin to suspect the involvement of those closest to them. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.

I've enjoyed Cassandra Clare's books in the past, but I have to say that they haven't all be hits out of the park for me. While I really enjoyed the first three in The Mortal Instruments series, I struggled with book 4, City of Fallen Angels. The next two in the series were good overall. Then I felt like Clockwork Angel had a slow start and followed too closely the pattern set by The Mortal Instruments. Thankfully, the remaining books in The Infernal Devices series drifted off the pattern I was worried about. While I loved Clockwork Prince, I did feel a little let down by Clockwork Princess. I felt like there were a few things that were cop-outs. And so I say all of that to say that I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about Lady Midnight.

Yet the description pulled me in with the forbidden love relationship between Emma and her parabatai, Julian. Who doesn't love a good forbidden love relationship? And to be honest, I feel like the description is a bit misleading because Emma doesn't seem as aware of her feelings as Julian does. Because Cassandra Clare writes for so many different viewpoints in her books, you never know who will be narrating and so we get more insight into Julian in this area which wasn't what I expected at all based on the description. Of course, this was the aspect of Lady Midnight that I was most excited about, and it was the aspect that kept me reading to find out what was going to happen. It was also the part that let me down the most in the end. Although, I can't discuss why because of spoilers. Sigh.

Of course, there's also the mystery and adventure that Emma and crew have to figure out. Who is killing faeries (and sometimes mundanes) and leaving them with the same markings that Emma's parents were left with when they were murdered? Emma wants revenge so badly. And if she can just figure out who is doing this then she can have it. Cassandra Clare always does a job well done piecing together this aspect of her stories. There are clues that have you questioning the loyalty of several central characters. Although, I feel like I saw the big baddie coming based off a few things I picked up on that I don't think would be out of the question for most people to have picked up on as well. But there are always pieces of the puzzle that aren't revealed until...well they are revealed.

The cast of characters is vast. The Blackthorns: Julian, Mark, Livie, Ty, Dru, and Tavvy...plus Uncle Arthur. Each has a distinct personality although Dru did seem to be left out of the personality department if anyone was. Maybe we'll get more from her in the future. Emma of course. Cristina (a recent addition of the LA Institute). Malcolm (High Warlock of LA), Diana (tutor for the Institute) and a few stragglers: Johnny Rook, Kit, Diego, Kieran. Each is well defined. Some have secrets we still haven't uncovered. Some have played their parts and likely won't be seen again. And some are just getting started.

Favorite quotes:

-"Love means you see someone. That's all. ... When you love someone, they become a part of who you are. They're in everything you do. They're in the air you breathe and the water you drink and the blood in your veins. Their touch stays on your skin and their voice stays in your ears and their thoughts stay in your mind. You know their dreams because their nightmares pierce your heart and their good dreams are your dreams too. And you don't think they're perfect, but you know their flaws, the deep-down truth of them, and the shadows of all their secrets, and they don't frighten you away; in fact, you love them more for it, because you don't want perfect. You want them."

-"Emma is my parabatai," he said. "If you ever speak to her like that again, there will be blood on the floor of the Sanctuary, and I do not care if they put me to death for it."

-...the intractable certainty that no matter how many demons she had killed that night, her nerve had failed her when she needed it most.

-"No one is ever the villain of their own story."

-"The choices we make, make us."

I do have to say that yet again, I worried that Lady Midnight (and The Dark Artifices) was following a very similar pattern to The Mortal Instruments and The Dark Artifices. I don't want to spoil anything here, but I'll just put a few equations out there for you to consider. Emma + Julian = Clary + Jace; Mark + Kieran = Alec + Magnus; Emma + Julian + Mark = Clary + Jace + Simon = Tessa + Will + Jem; Diana + Malcolm = Hodge; Arthur = Henry; Tavvy = Max. I feel like I could go on, but maybe I'll stop here feeling like I've made my point. Obviously, there are some differences to each of these equations, but again, I'm not discussing them to prevent spoilers. I also want to say in regards to things that I feel are repetitive between each of the series is that I feel like Cassandra Clare really pushes the LGBTQ agenda. There's Alec (gay) and Magnus (bi-sexual) in The Mortal Instruments. We're also introduced to Helen and Aline in that series (both gay). And although neither are really present in Lady Midnight because of the relation of Helen (a Blackthorn sister), both are spoken of repeatedly. Of course Magnus from TMI was also present in TDA. And if I remember correctly, Woolsey Scott was also gay from that series. And now we've got Mark (bi-sexual) and Kieran (gay). It just feels like too much to me, and the description between Mark and Kieran was upped compared to Magnus and Alec.

Mentioning all of these past characters reminds me that most of them were present, seen, or at least mentioned in Lady Midnight. Clary, Jace, Magnus, Alec, Robert Lightwood, Jem, Tessa, Simon, Isabelle, Church. I appreciated the glimpses of them. A few times it felt like fan service to have them mentioned or present, and other times it felt genuine to the story for me. It's funny to me how Jace is talked about being the "Shadowhunter of his generation" when he's really only 5 years older than Emma and Julian. It doesn't seem like much of a generation gap to me.

One thing that I appreciated Cassandra Clare touching on is how ancient Greek used multiple words for love. Agape for unconditional, God-like love, philia for friendship love, eros for romantic love, etc. And I think this is something that the Greeks had correctly that we don't. We use one word for love. And so when we're talking about friendship love we might accidentally apply some romantic love characteristics to it. More specifically, we say things like "love is the most important thing" and we think that means eros...romantic love...finding someone who you are "in love" with and making that work...but that's not true at all. Agape could be considered "the most important thing" but not eros. Perhaps this needs to be thought out more and presented in a Discussions Only We Know post. While I appreciated Cassandra Clare mentioning these different kinds of love, I don't feel like she or her characters have the right priority when it comes to this. (Direct quote from Lady Midnight: "There is nothing more important than love. And no law higher.") Finding eros isn't the most important thing. It isn't the be all end all. Agape on the other hand....now that's different.

To be honest, things were bee-bopping along for me in Lady Midnight just fine until the end. I had a few issues that I knew I would mention in this review, like the repetitive themes and patterns that I've struggled with in Cassandra Clare's work. I also knew I would talk about the different kinds of love. But other than that, things were pretty good. Until the end. Until the "cliffhanger" (of sorts) that actually had me thinking that I don't want to read Lord of Shadows. I mean I do. I will. But at this point, I'm not excited about it. I'm not looking forward to it. I'm dreading it. And I honestly hate feeling this way about a book that I want to be excited about and anticipate diving into. And this feeling is entirely based off the end of Lady Midnight. Cassandra Clare has done this to me before so I don't know why I'm surprised. I'll get to Lord of Shadows eventually, but don't expect it to be one that I pick up to read as soon as it is released. Lady Midnight gets 4 Stars. Have you read Lady Midnight? What did you think? Let me know!

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

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday Post - 10/22/17

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.

You guys...we're 8 days out from Baby Boy's scheduled arrival! AH!!!! It's getting so close. On the one hand, I'm ready to have my body back to myself. Well...as much as possible with breastfeeding. But the mental and emotional struggles that come with having a newborn...and the changes of going from a family of three to a family of four. Well...ready or not, here we come! That being said, I've been determined to take it easy until he arrives. Monday we had a cold front move through and finally started to get some fall weather. Tuesday was normal grocery day. Wednesday, Little Girl and I went for a walk. That just might have been our last walk just the two of us. I'll be purchasing a double stroller with some gift cards that we've received so that we can continue our walks once Baby Boy arrives. Thursday, I had a doctor's appointment. Then Little Girl and I hung out with my mom for the rest of the day. Friday Little Girl turned 2!!!! Husband took off work for her birthday so that was nice. Saturday we went to a pumpkin patch and had a blast!

My annual "All Things Halloween" event is still going on--through the entire month of October--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.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: All Things Halloween Review of Kiss of Fire (Imdalind, # 1) by Rebecca Ethington (3 Stars)
Wednesday: Can't Wait for This Heart of Mine by CC Hunter

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: All Things Halloween Review of Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, # 1) by Cassandra Clare
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 to sign 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 18, 2017

Can't Wait for This Heart of Mine

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.

This Heart of Mine

By: CC Hunter

Expected Publication: February 27th 2018 by Wednesday Books

384 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--A new heart saved her life—but will it help her find out what really happened to its donor?

Seventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie is heartless. An artificial heart in a backpack is keeping her alive. However, this route only offers her a few years. And with her rare blood type, a transplant isn’t likely. Living like you are dying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But when a heart becomes available, she’s given a second chance at life. Except Leah discovers who the donor was — a boy from her school — and they’re saying he killed himself. Plagued with dreams since the transplant, she realizes she may hold the clues to what really happened.

Matt refuses to believe his twin killed himself. When Leah seeks him out, he learns they are both having similar dreams and he’s certain it means something. While unraveling the secrets of his brother’s final moments, Leah and Matt find each other, and a love they are terrified to lose. But life and even new hearts don’t come with guarantees. Who knew living, took more courage than dying?

This Heart of Mine is a haunting, poignant tale about living and dying, surviving grief, guilt, and heartache, while discovering love and hope in the midst of sadness.

CC Hunter has been on my TBR list for a while, but this book sounds like one I need to read sooner rather than putting off. What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, October 16, 2017

All Things Halloween Review - Kiss of Fire

Kiss of Fire (Imdalind, # 1)

By: Rebecca Ethington

Published: October 30th 2012 by Imdalind Press

354 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

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--Joclyn Despain has been marred by a brand on her skin. She doesn't know why the mark appeared on her neck, but she doesn't want anyone to see it, including her best friend Ryland, who knows everything else about her. The scar is the reason she hides herself behind baggy clothes, and won't let the idea of kissing Ryland enter her mind, no matter how much she wants to. The scar is the reason she is being hunted.

If only she knew that she was.

If only she had known that the cursed stone her estranged father sent for her 16th birthday would trigger a change in her. Now, she is being stalked by a tall blonde man, and is miraculously throwing her high school bully ten feet in the air.

Joclyn attempts to find some answers and the courage to follow her heart. When Ryland finds her scar; only he knows what it means, and who will kill her because of it.

Holly and my friend Lacy have both read this series and enjoyed it. They recommended it to me a couple of years ago, and I got Kiss of Fire for free. (It is still a kindle freebie.) But I put off reading it because both said that it had a slow start. With limited time to read, I dread anything that has the word slow associated with it, even though some of my favorite books and series have started slowly. However, I finally decided that now was the time to pick it up.

When Joclyn was 5 she had an experience that put her in a coma. She woke up with a mark on her neck and her eyes had changed colors. The scar freaks her out because it looks like a dragon. She lets the scar determine her life really. She hides from everyone, hating to draw any attention to herself for fear of them rejecting her because of the scar. While you might think that's ridiculous, she has her reasons. See her father left shortly after the scar appeared. She doesn't want others to leave her for the same reasons. Her mother works as the chef for one of the richest families, and Joclyn has become best friends with the son of this family. Edmund, the dad, doesn't want Ryland and Joclyn to have anything to do with one another, but why is never really explained. One could assume it is because Edmund knows about Joclyn's mark, but that doesn't seem right as Edmund springs into action as soon as Ryland learns of the mark.

Actually, that leads me to a few things that didn't make sense to me. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'll come back to those things.

Joclyn knows that she has feelings for Ryland, but he plans to leave for college soon so there's no point in acting on them. Plus, she's scared of changing their relationship and losing the friendship they have. Plus also, there's the whole aspect of his father hating her and all. But Ryland starts trying to kiss her. Joclyn dodges the kiss a few times until she can figure out how she feels and what she wants. I loved Ryland in the beginning of Kiss of Fire. He is so obviously in love with Joclyn despite her not really being able to see it fully. And so it was easy to root for him.

But then Ryland finds her scar (not a spoiler since it's in the description) and he freaks out and send her running. It didn't make sense to me how quickly things happened. They're in the safety of Ryland's room which you would assume his father doesn't know about since they snuck in to hang out together. Yet despite being there, Ryland sends her away with instructions to find Ilyan (who she's briefly run into a couple of times). How his father knew she was there and what she was all of a sudden made no sense and wasn't explained. How Joclyn could use her magic to punch Cynthia and send her flying 10 feet yet can't seem to master any defensive or offensive use for it once she finds out that she even has magic didn't make any sense. Why Joclyn, who wanted to hide from everyone and never draw attention to herself, would even audition for the lead role in a play makes no sense. These were just a few of the things that either didn't make logical sense or weren't explained well enough for me. Inconsistencies really cause me to struggle.

I texted Holly at one point to tell her that I felt like Rebecca Ethington was trying to make me feel like I had no choice but to root for Ryland while setting the book up to be impossible for Ryland and Joclyn to end up together. And maybe Ilyan is who I should be rooting for. The events that should have been plot twists felt visible to me from a mile away. There was no guessing what might happen because it was like watching a train wreck that I couldn't stop from happening. The signs were all there, pointing to an inevitable crash, but there was nothing I could do but watch. Ryland's path and eventual outcome was never a question (even if it might change as the series progresses). And I don't know if it was the mood I was in while reading this book (irritable), or if this is just bad writing.

It's funny to me that both Holly and Lacy said the beginning was slow to them, but things picked up towards the later half of the book, but the beginning was my favorite part. Yes the action picks up as the book progresses, but I often found myself skimming the action or fight scenes because I was having trouble picturing what was taking place and everything read to me as overdramatic.

Kiss of Fire had quite a few issues for me. There were inconsistencies and things that didn't make logical sense to me or weren't explained fully. I felt like the writing was overdramatic which left me skimming scenes that should have been the most gripping. And the plot twists were visible from a mile away, yet not in a good way at all. I dreaded what was coming rather than being excited about the coming events or even wondering if our characters would overcome because the ending felt so predictable and inevitable to me. However, I can't say that Kiss of Fire was all bad. I did find parts of it enjoyable, and at this point, I do want to continue reading the series. Kiss of Fire gets 3 Stars. Have you read Kiss of Fire? What did you think? Let me know!

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

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 10/15/17

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.

Another busy week. I spent a lot of time cleaning house, shopping, and working on some DIY decorations for Little Girl's 2nd birthday party. Tuesday was normal grocery day. Wednesday, Little Girl and I spent the day with my mom. Thursday I had a doctor's appointment for Baby Boy. We're going every week now and this Tuesday we'll be at 38 weeks. I also had to run by the store again on Thursday. I had success getting green crayon out of some white window curtains thanks to Little Girl. I know this might not sound like a big deal to some, but that was a feat that I'm super proud of. Friday was full speed house cleaning. And Saturday was her actual party day (although she doesn't turn 2 until Friday). I didn't get to do every thing I wanted between being so insanely huge and exhausted as well as the continued family drama going on. But we celebrated her and had a good time.

My annual "All Things Halloween" event is still going on--through the entire month of October--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.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: All Things Halloween Review of The Bird and the sword (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles, # 1) by Amy Harmon (4 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Autumn Book Covers
Wednesday: Can't Wait for This Tiny Perfect World by Lauren Gibaldi

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: All Things Halloween Review of The Kiss of Fire (Imdalind, # 1) by Rebecca Ethington
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 to sign 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.

This Heart of Mine

By: CC Hunter

Expected Publication: February 27th 2018 by Wednesday Books

384 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--A new heart saved her life—but will it help her find out what really happened to its donor?

Seventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie is heartless. An artificial heart in a backpack is keeping her alive. However, this route only offers her a few years. And with her rare blood type, a transplant isn’t likely. Living like you are dying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But when a heart becomes available, she’s given a second chance at life. Except Leah discovers who the donor was — a boy from her school — and they’re saying he killed himself. Plagued with dreams since the transplant, she realizes she may hold the clues to what really happened.

Matt refuses to believe his twin killed himself. When Leah seeks him out, he learns they are both having similar dreams and he’s certain it means something. While unraveling the secrets of his brother’s final moments, Leah and Matt find each other, and a love they are terrified to lose. But life and even new hearts don’t come with guarantees. Who knew living, took more courage than dying?

This Heart of Mine is a haunting, poignant tale about living and dying, surviving grief, guilt, and heartache, while discovering love and hope in the midst of sadness.

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 11, 2017

Can't Wait for This Tiny Perfect World

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.

This Tiny Perfect World

By: Lauren Gibaldi

Expected Publication: February 27th 2018 by HarperTeen

304 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--Penny loves her small-town Florida life—including her boyfriend, Logan, whom everyone expects her to marry. And when she lands a scholarship to the prestigious theater camp of her dreams to explore her love of acting, it’s the beginning of a summer that will change her life. But when she arrives at camp, Penny is thrust into a world of competition and self doubt. And as she meets new friends, including Chase, a talented young actor with big-city dreams, she begins to realize that her own dreams may be bigger than she ever imagined.

Lauren Gibaldi tells the story of a transformative summer for a girl who discovers just how wide the world really is and that maybe the life everyone expects her to lead may not be the one she was meant to have.

I've read two Lauren Gibaldi before and enjoyed them both. She's really good at coming of age stories. I don't love the cover for this one, but I want to check it out. What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Top Ten Autumn Book Covers

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Autumn Book Covers.

When I think of Autumn, I think of yellow, orange, brown, and red. I think falling leaves, camp fires, and sunsets. There were so many yellow, orange, and red book covers that made me think "autumn" but I had to limit them because I would have gone way over 10. Here are my top ten...

  1. Back to You by Priscilla Glenn
  2. Until Friday Night (The Field Party, # 1) by Abbi Glines
  3. After the Game (The Field Party, # 3) by Abbi Glines
  4. Paris Lights (Heart of the City, # 1) by CJ Duggan
  5. The Bird and the Sword (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles, # 1) by Amy Harmon
  6. Long Way Home (Thunder Road, # 3) by Katie McGarry
  7. Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, # 2) by Sarah J Maas
  8. The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep
  9. Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy, # 1) by Rae Carson
  10. One Tiny Lie (Ten Tiny Breaths, # 2) by KA Tucker

What are your top autumn book covers? Let me know!

Side Notes: Happy Birthday Husband! Also, how is that 2017 Series Enders button for autumn for you! Thanks to the Hubs for creating that for me!