[Waiting on Wednesday] Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

Waiting on Wednesday

 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event created by Breaking the Spine in which an anticipated title is highlighted. You can find their website here.

After reading Hannah Capin’s debut The Dead Queens Club and seeing the kind of power she could write for her cast of female characters, I was anxious to read her future stories. A Macbeth retelling of vengeance sounded epic and I am very pleased that I’ll be able to pen a review for y’all because I’ve got an arc of Foul is Fair.

What sounds good about this? The themes of taking back power, of not letting the elitist assholes win, of not letting the presumed storyline be it, of Elle and her friends not letting their stories be written for them.

With a little under a month to go until release, I’m going to be gobbling the rest of this book up, anxious to share my thoughts with y’all and see what you think upon release.

 

about the book - Copy

 

42595554

 

Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Goodreads | Indiebound | Libro.fm

Published: 18 February 2020

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Genre(s): Young Adult/Contemporary/Retellings

Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target.

They picked the wrong girl.

Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.

Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.

 

 

 

 

 

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Let’s Save the Pond! It’s Time for the #Pondathon.

Pondathon: The Quiet Pond's story-driven readathon. Image: Two swords with vines wrapped around it frame the words 'Pondathon', with three little forest sprites sitting on top. One forest sprite has a leaf on its head, the middle has twigs for horns, and the right has a mushroom on its head.

What is the Pondathon?

 

The Pondathon is a co-operative and story-driven readathon hosted and run by CW from The Quiet Pond. The aim of the Pondathon is to read books and collect points to protect the friends over at The Quiet Pond from the encroaching malevolent forces that threaten our friends in the forest.

 

Have fun participating in the Pondathon readathon by joining one of five teams, each with a unique way to collect points and signing up! You can also follow the story of the Pondathon as it unfolds, and participants can also complete ‘side quests’ during the readathon to collect extra points. The readathon takes place from January 24th 2020 to March 7th 2020. More information about the readathon can be found here.

 

Information about Joining the Pondathon

 

  1. To join the Pondathon, simply sign up anytime between January 18th 2020 to March 5th 2020.
  2. Choose a team, create your own animal character for the Pondathon and create a character card!
  3. Create a blog post, bookstagram post, booktube video, Twitter thread, or whatever medium you wish, with ‘#Pondathon’ in the title or your tweet. Share the character you have created and your character card!
  4. Link back to this post so that others can find this readathon and join in.

 

Share your updates on your blog/bookstagram/booktube and social media. You are more than welcome to tag @thequietpond or @artfromafriend on Twitter or Instagram in all your updates! We’d love to see all of the beautiful and awesome characters that you create!

 

My Pond Character

 

 

Myfanwy - Pondathon Character

 

My Pond Character is called Myfanwy, a sailor of the Great Wide Sea. They’re a seeker of Stars (which you may remember from Castor and the #StartOnYourShelfathon) and Knowledge. Never one to shy away from trying out an accessory or a new book, Myfanwy is travelling to the Pond to help defend it from the encroaching darkness!

I’m joining Team Varian. As such, my reads will need to be from a range of genres. No subsequent read can be the same as the previous read. 👀 I’ve never kept strict track of this before, but now I’ll have to!

 


My Pondathon TBR

 

 

35601689._sy475_

Murder, She Knit by Peggy Ehrhart

I picked up a few mysteries a couple weeks ago and this stood out for being kind of cute (look at the kitty!), inspired-ish by Murder, She Wrote in the title, and somehow knitting related. It seems cozy and a good start to the Pondathon.

 


 

36501255._sy475_

Spellhacker by M.K. England

Mail call this week brought this book to me and it’s going to be hard waiting! 😂 Spellhacker is about one last heist in a world where magic is a controlled commodity. It sounds like it’s going to be very exciting and fast paced.

 


 

36223860._sy475_

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

Murderbot is one of my favorite characters in science fiction. It is super relatable because who doesn’t want to kick back with a good book/t.v. show/etc. when the alternative is work? Granted, it’s line of work is far different than anything we’re likely to come across, I hope. 😅 Anyway, Artificial Condition is Murderbot’s second adventure and I’m wondering where it’s going to go after the previous installment. So many options!

 

 

 

 

 

All media belongs to the respective owners and is used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

 

[Audiobook Review] The Night Country by Melissa Albert, Narrated by Rebecca Soler

Return to a world where dark fairy tales are more than ink and paper. Where, now free of the confines of their tales, they walk the streets of New York, unconfined but retaining the spirit of the stories.

Welcome back to the Hinterland.

 

about the book - Copy

 

43565385._sx318_

Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Goodreads | Indiebound | Libro.fm

Published: 7 January 2020

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Genre(s): Young Adult/Fantasy

The highly anticipated sequel to Melissa Albert’s beloved, New York Times bestselling debut The Hazel Wood!

In The Night Country, Alice Proserpine dives back into a menacing, mesmerizing world of dark fairy tales and hidden doors. Follow her and Ellery Finch as they learn The Hazel Wood was just the beginning, and that worlds die not with a whimper, but a bang.

With Finch’s help, Alice escaped the Hinterland and her reclusive grandmother’s dark legacy. Now she and the rest of the dregs of the fairy tale world have washed up in New York City, where Alice is trying to make a new, unmagical life. But something is stalking the Hinterland’s survivors―and she suspects their deaths may have a darker purpose. Meanwhile, in the winking out world of the Hinterland, Finch seeks his own adventure, and―if he can find it―a way back home…

 

content warnings - Copy

 

 

Blood, violence, stalking, dismemberment

 

 

3 star

 

 

 

 

what i enjoyed

 

  • The various Hinterland characters. As much as Alice tried to stay away, there were still many aspects of the Hinterland that reached out and came into play throughout the story, whether her friend Sophia or remaining Ex-Stories. As terrifying and sometimes horrifying as they were, they were deliciously at home in their creepiness.

 

  • Rebecca Soler, the narrator, played up the bone deep eeriness of the Hinterland, making certain passages even more chilling. She really nailed the various moments where Alice encountered particularly chilling Hinterland aspects, other times when Alice’s emotions were rising and the reader could just feel them along with her. Rebecca’s overall performance was very good.

 

  • The dual point of view perspective which allowed Ellery to showcase his time in non-Earth activities. While not extensive, it was interesting getting to see what he thought, what he felt, what he experienced in the scenes we did get from his travels. The Hazel Wood was very much an Alice book; The Night Country was still mostly Alice, but Ellery got some time which was a good breather.

 

  • Alice and Ella’s relationship: trying to figure out where they stand, now that the truth from The Hazel Wood has been revealed, Alice is graduating high school, her dark past. Where do they stand now? Even with the Hinterland past sneaking in, it’s still an achingly familiar human story, figuring out where you stand when you’re suddenly an adult but maybe not quite but still technically? Such a weird time for some. The navigation of this was probably looser than strictly human parental exchanges might have been, but I think the callbacks will still be familiar.

 

 

what i didn't enjoy - Copy

 

  • The biggest problem I had was the similarity of a major plotline to Jill Wolcott’s from Every Heart a Doorway. I didn’t realize quite how similar the plots were until about 70% of the way through because for the most part, they could have gone in different directions, but when the reasoning was revealed? Whoo boy, way too similar for my taste. I couldn’t shake it and it brought my enjoyment down severely.

 

  • The relationship between Alice and Ellery felt awkward. They’re not in the same world for most of the book which, fine. With that in mind, I thought there was an imbalance of feeling between the two. I could believe that one party did have remaining feelings, but the other? Not so much, so the finale of the book rang a bit hollow.

 

 

to sum it up - Copy

 

I think it would be better to read this as close to finishing The Hazel Wood as possible, because for me it has been awhile and I felt like I’d lost some of the connection between Alice’s somewhat traumatic journey in the first book and her trying to find her way in The Night Country. The being said, it was still a good book to read as Alice figures out what it means to be an Ex-Story in the human world when the Stories are still there and possibly trying to pull you back in.

The Hinterland is a deeply intriguing, creepy, interesting place and I would love to read more of its stories someday. I look forward to more of Melissa Albert’s tales.

 

 

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Libro.fm’s ALC program in exchange for an honest review. Quotes included are from an advanced reader copy and may not reflect the finalized copy.

All media belongs to the respective owners and is used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

[Waiting on Wednesday] I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee

Waiting on Wednesday

 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event created by Breaking the Spine in which an anticipated title is highlighted. You can find their website here.

K-Pop music is very energetic and very relaxing to me at the same time. A book that embraces it sounds very interesting, not to mention one that challenges the standards of the industry with a main character (Skye) who is determined not to let anything stop her.

And let’s talk about that cover! So many bold colors and featuring a plus size model. Loving it!

 

about the book - Copy

 

48552008

Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Goodreads | Indiebound | Libro.fm

Published: 16 June 2020

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Genre(s): Contemporary/Young Adult/Romance/LGBT

The world of K-Pop has never met a star like this. Debut author Lyla Lee delivers a deliciously fun, thoughtful rom-com celebrating confidence and body positivity—perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Julie Murphy.

Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her.

She’ll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she’ll do it better than anyone else.

When Skye nails her audition, she’s immediately swept into a whirlwind of countless practices, shocking performances, and the drama that comes with reality TV. What she doesn’t count on are the highly fat-phobic beauty standards of the Korean pop entertainment industry, her sudden media fame and scrutiny, or the sparks that soon fly with her fellow competitor, Henry Cho.

But Skye has her sights on becoming the world’s first plus-sized K-pop star, and that means winning the competition—without losing herself.

 

 

 

 

 

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

[Review] The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

As a big fan of the convention circuit, I was instantly attracted to Ashley Poston’s The Princess and the Fangirl. It’s the second book in the Once Upon a Con series (whoops for reading out of order lol) after Geekerella, but I don’t think that takes away from enjoying the fandom references, the energy, and the pure love that Ashley displays for her characters and setting.

 

about the book - Copy

 

39725622
Enter a caption

Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Goodreads | Indiebound | Libro.fm

Published: 2 April 2019

Publisher: Quirk Books

Genre(s): Contemporary/Young Adult/Retelling/LGBT+

The Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and heartwarming young adult novel set in the Geekerella universe by national bestselling author Ashley Poston.

Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.

When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after.

 

4 star

 

Rep: F/F romance (side characters)

 

what i enjoyed

 

  • Jess does not want to be Princess Amara anymore because she fears being tied to the Starfield series forever, unable to progress in her career through what she views as worthier films. A legit concern because typecasting happens and it can be something hard to breakthrough, especially for women in Hollywood. Her worries and fears were realistic aspects that gave insight into her position.

 

  • Imogen holds the Starfield series, show and film, dear to her heart, especially Princess Amara. She wants to save the character from a presumed demise at the conclusion of the blockbuster hit film that is becoming bigger than the Avengers films. Her perspective really enabled fans (pick your fandom) to feel themselves within the book. Who among us hasn’t worried about their favorite character being killed off? Would we go as far as Imogen to save them?

 

  • There are quips and barbs traded, whether toward each other or with side characters, that add to the annoyance factor of Jess and Imogen. After the incident that prompts their trading places act, however, the reader is able to see some slow development of their respective characters. Their motivations in respect to why they’ve said and done some rude things, why they fear the future (whether it be the Starfield franchise or an unknown life), unfold and make them more layered people.

 

  • This clarity moment for Jess. There’s a specific scene where Jess is trying to follow a clue to the leaked script and she is viewing the 25th anniversary setup for Starfield. The collection of costumes, particularly that of the original Amara Natalia Ford, gives her pause. She wonders about the expectations that were heaped upon her by outside forces (fans and so forth) as well as herself, but also her preconception about what makes an indie film like her Oscar nominated Huntress Rising role “better” than anything being enjoyed at ExcelsiCon (The Last Jedi, Black Panther, Starfield).

 

  • Even though I read this book first and have yet to read Geekerella, there were some throwbacks to the first book that were cute and funny that I could appreciate. I’m sure I’ll love them even more once I’ve read the first book so I can know the full history behind the cameos and whatnot.

 

 

what i didn't enjoy - Copy

 

  • There an annoying quality that both girls have at first that stems from their points of view. It was a bit more abrasive than I would have liked, even if they did grow from it.

 

  • Not enjoying might be a bit strong for this entry, but: Jess cannot see what the attendees of ExcelsiCon value in the shows, the art, the costumes that are on display. Imogen can’t understand why Jess would want to give up on Amara, an iconic female character she could save from fridging if she just fought for her. I was frustrated with these two because they were being so stubborn. Then again, they did just meet, so it’s also hard to be too upset about it.

 

 

to sum it up - Copy

 

A definite TBR addition for fans of conventions, especially those who have read Poston’s GeekerellaThe Princess and the Fangirl is ultimately a fan letter to the world of costumes, of film festivals, of long nights debating the finer points of our fandoms, and what we would or wouldn’t do to save them. It’s also about being true to ourselves and taking no shit from those that would try to shove us into precut holes because they think they can.

Once Upon a Con is a series I can’t wait to kick back and visit again.

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Quotes included are from an advanced reader copy and may not reflect the finalized copy.

All media belongs to the respective owners and is used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

 

[Release Week Blitz] Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim

scavenge

 

I am so excited that SCAVENGE THE STARS by Tara Sim is available now and that I get to share the news! Thank you to Rockstar Book Tours for putting together this Release Week Blitz.

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Tara Sim, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for 3 finished copies of the book, courtesy of Disney Hyperion and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

 

about the book - Copy

 

cove.jpg

Title: SCAVENGE THE STARS (Scavenge the Stars #1)
Author: Tara Sim
Pub. Date: January 7, 2020
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Find it: Goodreads, Libro.fm, Amazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Kobo , TBD

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.

 

about the author - Copy

 

tara

Tara Sim is the author of SCAVENGE THE STARS (Disney-Hyperion) and the TIMEKEEPER trilogy (Sky Pony Press) and writer of all things magic. She can often be found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California.

When she’s not writing about mischievous boys in clock towers, Tara spends her time drinking tea, wrangling cats, and occasionally singing opera. Despite her bio-luminescent skin, she is half-Indian and eats way too many samosas.

Tara is represented by Victoria Marini at Irene Goodman Literary Agency.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Tumblr | Goodreads

 

Excerpt from Scavenge the Stars

 

Revenge. It was a simple word when spoken out loud, but it was so much bigger, like the hidden city under the atoll. It was a word of fire and blood, of a knife’s whisper and the priming of a pistol.

It was a word that consumed her, filled her entire being until she knew that she could no longer be Silverfish. Silverfish’s will was to survive, to simply make it to the next day, and hopefully the day after that. But that was no longer her will.

Now it was revenge.

Captain Zharo. Kamon Mercado. Moray.

They would all pay.

 

Rafflecopter Giveaway

 

3 winners will receive a finished copy of SCAVENGE THE STARS, US only.
Giveaway ends February 14th at midnight EST.

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

All media belongs to the respective owners and is used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

[Waiting on Wednesday] Spellhacker by M.K. England

Waiting on Wednesday

 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event created by Breaking the Spine in which an anticipated title is highlighted. You can find their website here.

I am a BIG fan of heist novels, so when the synopsis for Spellhacker crossed my notice I thought it sounded super interested. Magic has become a tightly controlled commodity (not cool), so the main characters on a lucrative job that siphons magic. Very illegal, but one more job is supposed to the it.

Famous last words, right?

I can’t wait to see how M.K. England writes the characters in and out of the twists that are sure to pop up in this new book. It’s gonna be a doozy. 👀

 

about the book - Copy

 

36501255._sy475_

Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Goodreads | Indiebound | Libro.fm

Published: 21 January 2020

Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books

Genre(s): Fantasy/Young Adult/LGBT

From the author of The Disasters, this genre-bending YA fantasy heist story is perfect for fans of Marie Lu and Amie Kaufman.

In Kyrkarta, magic—known as maz—was once a freely available natural resource. Then an earthquake released a magical plague, killing thousands and opening the door for a greedy corporation to make maz a commodity that’s tightly controlled—and, of course, outrageously expensive.

Which is why Diz and her three best friends run a highly lucrative, highly illegal maz siphoning gig on the side. Their next job is supposed to be their last heist ever.

But when their plan turns up a powerful new strain of maz that (literally) blows up in their faces, they’re driven to unravel a conspiracy at the very center of the spellplague—and possibly save the world.

No pressure.

 

 

 

 

 

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.