Top Ten of 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, we reminisce about all the great books we’ve read along the way. We are going to give you a look at our top reads of the year.

What are your favorites of 2018?

Stacy’s Top 10(ish)

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These are in no order but these are my top ten of the year!

Books that almost made the list:

Noir- Christopher Moore

The Wicker King- K. Ancrum

Bring Me Their Hearts- Sara Wolf

Ace of Shades- Amanda Foody

The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik- David Arnold

stacy

Wicked Charm by Amber Hart Blog Tour – Review

WickedCharmTour

Hi, everyone! I am very excited to be a part of the Wicked Charm blog tour hosted by Chapter by Chapter. My review, along with some sweet information about Wicked Charm, will be in this post.

Wicked Charm Cover

Wicked Charm by Amber Hart

Publication Date:  January 30, 2018

Publisher:  Entangled Teen

Nothing good comes from living in the Devil’s swamp.

Willow Bell thinks moving to the Okefenokee area isn’t half bad, but nothing prepares her for what awaits in the shadows of the bog.

Girls are showing up dead in the swamp. And she could be next.

Everyone warns Willow to stay away from Beau Cadwell—the bad boy at the top of their suspect list as the serial killer tormenting the small town.

But beneath his wicked, depthless eyes, there’s something else that draws Willow to him.

When yet another girl he knew dies, though, Willow questions whether she can trust her instincts…or if they’re leading to her own death.

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31498683-wicked-charm

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Amazon.com.au | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled

My Review

Wicked Charm was a refreshing read, one that was not too heavy on the romance or the suspense. There was just enough of both to make the book a satisfying and memorable read. The setting of the book was also a wonderful aspect of the story. It was an unusual and very descriptive setting, and it was perfect for the suspense of the book. I’ve read many books before but never one that takes place near a Georgia swamp. I also really enjoyed the characters; not just the main characters, but I found Gran to be an enjoyable side character. She added a light humor to the story, one that made me laugh multiple times while I was on the train.

What I liked about Wicked Charm:

The mystery: I’m a sucker for mystery reads, so I was delighted to get my hands on an early copy of Wicked Charm. I really enjoyed the suspense and seeing the main characters go through suspect after suspect while trying to find the killer and while also dealing with their own personal problems. The mystery slowly came together and gave just enough for the reader to be left shocked. And then there was that heart-pounding chapter…you’ll know what I mean when you read the book.

The chemistry: the romance between Willow and Beau is addicting; I could feel their feelings for one another as if they were jumping off the page. Their attraction toward one another was instant, along with the romantic tension. It was refreshing to be able to read from both of their views, to be able to see the struggles of both characters and how those struggles brought them together.

The writing style: Amber Hart’s writing style is light and beautiful and so easy to follow. She has a way of enthralling readers from page one. Amber Hart also wrote well-drawn and well-developed characters that the readers see change throughout the story.

Overall, I was very pleased with Wicked Charm. The characters, the setting, and the suspense came together to create a beautiful masterpiece. Amber Hart outdid herself with Wicked Charm!

If you’re looking for a young adult mystery filled with an irresistible romance, then Wicked Charm is a book you need to read!

About the Author: 

Ambert Hart

Amber Hart resides on the Florida coastline with family and a plethora of animals she affectionately refers to as her urban farm. When unable to find a book, she can be found writing, daydreaming, or with her toes in the sand. She’s the author of several novels for teens and adults, including Wicked Charm, the Before & After series, and the Untamed series. Rep’d by Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary Group.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Check out the full tour schedule below:

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/tour-schedule-wicked-charm-by-amber-hart/

By A Charm and a Curse: An Interview with Jaime Questell

Good morning, awesome book lovers and book nerds! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week. I certainly am, and I am super excited to be hosting a wonderful author on our blog today!

I had the lucky opportunity to read an early copy of By a Charm and a Curse by Jaime Questell. It was a beautiful book about magic and love and what it takes to end a curse that protects those affected by it. I found Jaime’s debut novel to be refreshing and unique. This is definitely a book you are not going to want to miss, especially if you love carnivals and dark magic.


Here is the summary of By a Charm and a Curse, provided by Goodreads:

CharmLe Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for. 

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.

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Now doesn’t this book just sound AMAZING?! I definitely found it to be!

JaimeBut, anyway, on with the show (see what I did there)! Besides getting an early review copy of By a Charm and a Curse, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview the author of the novel, Jaime Questell. She was an absolute blast to get to know and I am very thankful to her, as well as her publicist, for letting me host her on the blog! And I find that this post is even more special because this is also my first ever interview hosted on the blog! I am super stoked for you all to get to know Jaime!

It’s time to draw the curtains aside and let the show begin!


  1. Have you always wanted to be an author? If not, what was your first dream job?

I always wanted to be a graphic designer, which is what I do now! I love it, it’s like solving puzzles with colors and shapes and text. Although, when I was younger, I was convinced I’d be a fashion designer.

  1. What was the hardest part of getting published for you?

Learning to not compare my process/reviews/expectations to my peers. It’s so hard to remember that everyone goes through struggles in the publishing industry, and just because they don’t talk about it, doesn’t mean they don’t have their own frustrations.

  1. What was your favorite part of the publishing process?

I won’t lie – I love getting ARCs. And getting to know my fellow debuts has been pretty awesome, too.

  1. Where did the inspiration come from for By a Charm and a Curse?

I had been listening to the Dresden Dolls song Coin-Operated Boy and had an image of a girl falling from a great height. That got me thinking, where did she fall from? And did she survive? What happened next? That turned into a short story, which my crit partners demanded I expand. That turned into CHARM!

  1. The curse in By a Charm and a Curse is unlike anything I’ve read! How did the idea for the curse come about?

It kind of emerged as a very warped version of the curse from Beauty and the Beast. But instead of cursing the other carnival employees and performers, I wanted to see what would happen if they benefited from the curse. How quickly would that warp them, and what would they do to keep the status quo?

(Side note: if you would like to read more about the curse, check out this post on Entangled Teen).

  1. Did you have By a Charm and a Curse mapped out before you started writing?

For the most part, I’m a huge plotter, but CHARM was just one of those things and it felt like my fingers knew what was happening almost before my brain did. It is the easiest thing I have ever written, and I hope something comes along to take that title from it!

  1. There is an array of characters in By a Charm and a Curse. Were any of those characters based on people you know?

Some have touches of people I know, and some are based on characters I like. Leslie and Lars are riffs on Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson. Gin and Whiskey have a touch of my own daughters in them. And Juliet loves food as much as I do.

  1. Who was your favorite character to write?

Whiskey has the best lines and was so much fun to write. I can’t help it – I always have a Whiskey-esque character in everything I write.

  1. Was there any specific chapter/scene you enjoyed writing the most?

I loved the scene in the gas station. It was so interesting to try to figure out what these characters, whose lives are so different from anything I’ve known, would do for fun. A gas station food fight felt very appropriate.

  1. What was it like writing in two different character perspectives?

In some ways it was harder, making sure their voices were different enough that a reader could know what chapter they were in without referencing the chapter pages, but in some ways it felt like a cheat! With two POVs, I could tell the reader things I needed them to know but that the character wouldn’t know, and it made things so much easier!

  1. If you were part of a charmed carnival, what act would you perform?

I really want to say that I’d do something graceful where I could wear a sparkly costume, like the lyra hoop, but I’m so uncoordinated. I’d probably be better off slinging cotton candy or corn dogs. 😀

  1. Were there any songs you had to listen to while writing?

Yes! Music is so helpful to me when writing. When I wrote Emma, I’d listen to this band Kitten, and when I wrote Ben, I’d listen to the Rubens. When I wanted to get the feel of the carnival, I’d listen to that Dresden Dolls song or a cover of Rock and Roll by Rasputina.

  1. As a Harry Potter fan, I have to ask: what is your Hogwarts’s House? 😊

Gryffindor! Though I think I have a touch of Slytherin, to be honest.

  1. If you could have your book turned into anything (movie, Broadway musical, dance number, etc.), what would it be?

I’d want CHARM to be one really well done season of TV. I feel like there’s more than could be fit into a movie, but not enough for multiple seasons. Though I wouldn’t say no to a movie!

  1. Any advise to writers and aspiring authors?

Self-care is so important. Whether that means taking breaks while drafting, reading to refuel your creative well, knowing when to take a step away from social media…because you can’t write when you feel like crap.

  1. Were there any books/authors that had inspiration on your work?

Too many! As I mentioned, I love Holly Black. I’m also inspired by Leigh Bardugo, Laini Taylor, Maggie Stievfater, Kelley Armstrong, Stephanie Garber, Lisa Maxwell, Zoraida Cordova…I could go on all day.

  1. What book(s) are you currently reading?

Umm, also too many! You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon; Nothing Left to Burn by Heather Ezell; and Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner. I’m also really exited to read The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert; Everless by SaraH Holland; Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke; and American Panda by Gloria Chao.


Thank you so much, Jaime, for stopping by and I had a great time getting the chance to interview you! Thank you to Entangled Teen and Jaime’s publicist for making this possible! It was an absolutely pleasure hosting you on the blog!

By a Charm and a Curse hits shelves February 6, 2018, so don’t forget to mark your calendar! If you love magic with a mix of romance, I’d definitely add By a Charm and a Curse to your Books-to-Buy list!

That’s all for today, everyone! Thank you again to the wonderful people at Entangled Teen!

♥Nikole

 

The Cruel Prince- Holly Black *Double Review*

cruel

Synopsis:

    Of course, I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

 

Stacys Review:

”I stand in front of my window and imagine myself a fearless knight, imagine myself a witch who hid her heart in her finger and then chopped her finger off.”

I’m at a loss for words! Holly Black is a badass Faerie Queen and no one can stand in her way!

I’ve had this book since June and I’m severely beating myself up because I didn’t read this sooner. What is wrong with me!? (Please don’t answer that!)

Imagine being taken away to an enchanted Isle full of Faeries after your parents are brutally slaughtered. It feels magical and depressing all at once. And then living the rest of your life being thought lesser of because you’re human. This is the life Jude and her siblings now must endure.

I’ve read some reviews where they claim that it starts off slow. That is really not the case here. It starts off with a grab to the throat and never lets up. It really is that damn good and if it’s not on your tbr, you need to change that asap.

Let us talk about my new Prince book boyfriend….. Prince Cardan. He loves to drink, has a sassy ass mouth, has an adorable tail, and has a jawline for days! Swoon!

While I loved most of this enchanting story, there was one little thing that bothered me. That twist at the end. Way before I decided to pick this up, people have been bragging about the twist towards the end. That they can’t get over that twist. Well, that part didn’t live up to that expectation and I was waiting for something more throat-grabbingly (I’m obsessed with throats apparently) shocking. Alas, my dears it wasn’t. But it was still a read that I’m going to rave about.

I’m going to need book two. I offer my husband who will cook, clean, and give foot rubs!!

Nikole’s Review:

Oh my Lord! What has Holly Block done to my once precious soul? She has ripped my soul from my body and placed it inside her book. And took my heart, too. Okay, figuratively speaking. Holly Black blew me away with The Cruel Prince. There was intrigue, spunk, emotion, fighting, romance, and, of course, blood. I felt an overwhelming amount of emotions while reading The Cruel Prince. This book, like Stacy says, is gripping and grabs a hold of you from the first page and refuses to let you go, even after book one comes to a close. And that ending, though I was not overly shocked, is one that will leave you wanting more.

While many people will probably not take a liking to the cruelty that is this book, I loved it. Not saying I am cruel person (I promise!), but this book was different from anything I’ve read. I’ve read plenty of books with cruel characters and deadly escapades, but never a book that solely revolved around the cruelty that is Faerie. And Prince Cardan. And Jude. But the cruelty is to be expected, hence the book name; but it is so beautifully written and executed that it makes it difficult for you to loathe the main characters.

Holly Black certainly has a way with words, and it’s no surprise that she is deemed the Faerie Queen by many. Her writing is beautiful; she weaves an intriguing story with complicated yet breathtaking characters. I am telling you, this is a book you are not going to want to miss. Add The Cruel Prince to your TBR pile now! Actually, I’d recommend reading The Cruel Prince now but I also honor the TBR pile. So, just place The Cruel Prince at the top of your TBR pile. 🙂

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Beat the Backlist 2018 Challenge

Beat the Backlist

Hi, fellow book lovers! I’m coming to you today to talk about the first ever book challenge I will be participating in. It’s a year long challenge and as procrastination is a close friend, I’ll be working on creating a schedule so I do not end up having to read more books in the last month of the year. The challenge is Beat the Backlist and is hosted by NovelKnight! I absolutely love NovelKnight’s blog, so I am super excited to take part in this challenge.

The Rules of Beat the Backlist:

The challenge will run from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018. You have an ENTIRE YEAR to complete your goal!

Books must be released prior to 2018 to count for this challenge. Although we love new releases, too, this isn’t the challenge for them.

Luckily for me, I have over five hundred books that I’ve bought in the past few years that are dying to be read. Yep, over five hundred. And I only chose a certain amount. Since I am one of those people that has a hard time reading fifty books a year, I decided to go with a number that I think should be easy to reach in twelve months.

My Goal for Beat the Backlist: Read 24 books in 2018.

That’s two books a month. Easily accomplishable, right? I hope so, considering I have my reviews of 2018 arcs scheduled all the way through May. We shall see.

Since I had over five hundred books, I decided to do a random number generator to choose my twenty-four books. Some are books I started but never finished, some are books I haven’t read yet, and some are books I will be re-reading.

The 24 Books are (in no particular order):

  1. The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
  2. Timeless by Alexandra Monir
  3. Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan
  4. How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather
  5. The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles
  6. Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
  7. A Sky Full of Stars by Samantha Chase
  8. Endure by Sara B. Larson
  9. The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig
  10. The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron
  11. The Affiliate by K.A. Linde
  12. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
  13. Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
  14. The White Road of the Moon by Rachel Neumeier
  15. The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari
  16. The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
  17. Hidden by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
  18. King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard
  19. Wires and Nerves by Marissa Meyer
  20. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
  21. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
  22. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
  23. Ruined by Amy Tintera
  24. Timebound by Rysa Walker

I can’t wait to start this challenge tomorrow!

Do you have a mountain full of books that you need to read? The perfect way to read those books is by joining the Beat the Backlist challenge! You can join any time throughout 2018, and you get the chance to win prizes! More information on the Beat the Backlist 2018 Challenge can be found here.

Happy reading everyone and have a Happy New Year! See you all in 2018! 🙂

♥ Nikole