Thursday, June 21, 2018

Mini Review: Legendary

Legendary (Caraval, #2)
Legendary (Caraval #2)
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release Date: May 29th, 2018
A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister's. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval...the games have only just begun. 
I didn't think that I'd enjoTella's point of view as much as Scarlett's—but I was utterly surprised! Tella was just as intriguing, if not more so, than Scarlett. 

Tella's scenes with Dante were incredibly swoony and at times very sweet. also really enjoyed being able to see Julian and Scarlett in this installment because *THUD* I love them! 

Legendary definitely has a darker tone and feels more dangerous—but all the magic is still there! Stephanie Garber's writing is intoxicating. 

I can't wait to see how the story will end in Finale!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday: Love a la Mode

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

Love à la Mode
Take two American teen chefs, add one heaping cup of Paris, toss in a pinch of romance, and stir. . . .

Rosie Radeke firmly believes that happiness can be found at the bottom of a mixing bowl. But she never expected that she, a random nobody from East Liberty, Ohio, would be accepted to celebrity chef Denis Laurent's school in Paris, the most prestigious cooking program for teens in the entire world. Life in Paris, however, isn't all cream puffs and crepes. Faced with a challenging curriculum and a nightmare professor, Rosie begins to doubt her dishes.

Henry Yi grew up in his dad's restaurant in Chicago, and his lifelong love affair with food landed him a coveted spot in Chef Laurent's school. He quickly connects with Rosie, but academic pressure from home and his jealousy over Rosie's growing friendship with gorgeous bad-boy baker Bodie Tal makes Henry lash out and push his dream girl away.

Desperate to prove themselves, Rosie and Henry cook like never before while sparks fly between them. But as they reach their breaking points, they wonder whether they have what it takes to become real chefs.
This sounds adorable to the max! Plus, that cover!? Too cute to handle!

What are YOU waiting on this week!? 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tasty Jam Tuesday ♫

Let's start the week off with some tasty jams, shall we? Here's what I've been hooked on over the past few weeks! 

Any song recs? List 'em below! 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Trust Your Heart. Even if it Kills You.

Heart of Thorns (Heart of Thorns, #1)
Heart of Thorns
Author: Bree Barton
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: July 31st, 2018
In the ancient river kingdom, touch is a battlefield, bodies the instruments of war. Seventeen-year-old Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood.

Not women. Demons. The same demons who killed her mother without a single scratch. 

But when Mia's father suddenly announces her marriage to the prince, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers for a sumptuous silk gown. Only after the wedding goes disastrously wrong does she discover she has dark, forbidden magic—the very magic she has sworn to destroy.

From the very first page I could tell that Heart of Thorns was going to be special. Not only did the opening scene hook me, the writing itself had me mesmerized. Barton's prose is lyrical and sharp, captivating and tantalizing 
"On the eve of her wedding to the prince, Mia Rose ought to have been sitting at her cherrywood dresser, primping her auburn curls and lacing her whalebone corset. She should have been fussing with the train of her gown, a piece of oyster silk that unfurled behind her like a snow-kissed boulevard. Mia was doing none of those things."  Pg. 1
I adored Mia. I thought she was sweetintelligentand humorous. Considering all the trials Mia is put through, she stayed incredibly level-headed. I mean, can you imagine believing something is true your whole entire life only to find out it wasn't? This poor girl has her entire set of core values turned upside down, yet never loses her sass or spirit 

I also really enjoyed Quin. He and Mia are forced into a harrowing journey that becomes one of survival. They go from barley speaking to having to trust and depend on one another—it was gratifying to see the change in their dynamic. Also, the amount of swoon these two create?! Immense.  
"He peeled her shirt down at the neckline, just an inch, and blew cool air over her sweltering skin. Delicious sensations shivered down her spine."  

"The river," she said. 

They eased themselves into the Natha, the cool rush of water spilling over them. Their clothes clung to them like a second skin. Mia dug her fingers into his curls, mashed wet lips against his forehead, and tasted the plumpness of his bottom lip."  Pg. 375
The magical element of Heart of Thorns was exceptionally unique. I loved learning about the Dujia/Gwyrach. Healing hearts, stopping blood flow, stealing breath, intensifying lust—rare and wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about it.  
"The four sisters blessed us with the gift of touch, a gift that lines in our flesh, blood, breath and bones." Pg. 292 
In true fantasy fashion, this book is not without its villain—but read cautiously it may not be who you'd expect!

Heart of Thorns is a debut that can't be missed. I'm highly looking forward to the next installment! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday: The Lantern's Ember

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted here, at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.
The Lantern's Ember
Welcome to a world where nightmarish creatures reign supreme.

Five hundred years ago, Jack made a deal with the devil. It’s difficult for him to remember much about his mortal days. So, he focuses on fulfilling his sentence as a Lantern—one of the watchmen who guard the portals to the Otherworld, a realm crawling with every nightmarish creature imaginable. Jack has spent centuries jumping from town to town, ensuring that nary a mortal—or not-so-mortal—soul slips past him. That is, until he meets beautiful Ember O’Dare. 

Seventeen, stubborn, and a natural-born witch, Ember feels a strong pull to the Otherworld. Undeterred by Jack’s warnings, she crosses into the forbidden plane with the help of a mysterious and debonair vampire—and the chase through a dazzling, dangerous world is on. Jack must do everything in his power to get Ember back where she belongs before both the earthly and unearthly worlds descend into chaos.

UM!? This sounds uniquely fantastic! I saw it on someone's Can't Wait Wednesday a week or two ago and now I can't wait!! That cover!? That synopsis!? Hooked. 

What are YOU waiting on this week!?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Legendary Swoons

To participate all you have to do is:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!) 
 Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Legendary (Caraval, #2)
Yet, as the pair stood there with their arms wrapped around each other, and their heads leaning closer together, they looked like two halves of the same heart. ~Page 15
*Thud* I LOVE THESE TWO. Oh my goodness gracious. Please give me more Scarlett & Julian in Finale! 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Don't Rush to RSVP

Save the Date
Save the Date
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 5th, 2018
Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.

The concept of Save the Date sounded SO FREAKIN' adorable that I absolutely HAD to pick it up! Unfortunately, I wasn't wowed.  

At 400+ pages this book felt a little like a daunting task—slowly trudging along until about three-quarters of the way through. Not helping the matter, was the fact that the synopsis gave A LOT, A LOT away (Why are more and more novels doing this!? Please stop!) I wanted to love this book, but it felt predictable, drawn out, and a tad under-developed.  

I wish I could've learned more about the main character, Charlie. I can tell you a few things about herShe had a major crush on her brother's best friend, Jesse. She was trying to figure out where to go to college. She had slightly unrealistic views about her family. I honestly can't remember much more about her. (Eeek, that’s horrible of me!) 

did love the family aspect of this book though! It was so unique and fun to see the Grant Central Station comics throughout the story. Also, a weekend wedding where everyone puts aside their differences to come together was heartwarming to read about 

Can I just say that Wedding Planners are the real MVPs? They do NOT get enough credit. I would've loved to have seen more of Bill! He was such a sweetie and I adored his interactions with Charlie! I feel like there should've been an epilogue farther into Charlie's future as well.  

My advice: Don't rush to RSVP to this one but if you have a free weekend perhaps you should check it out.  

GIVE THE PAPER GIRL A SPIN-OFF! She was the breakout star! LBVS (laughing but VERY serious.)