*First Line Friday 12/20/19* Set Fire to the Gods- Sara Raasch & Kristen Simmons

41954467. sy475 Ash is descended from a long line of gladiators, and she knows the brutal nature of war firsthand. But after her mother dies in an arena, she vows to avenge her by overthrowing her fire god, whose temper has stripped her country of its resources.

Madoc grew up fighting on the streets to pay his family’s taxes. But he hides a dangerous secret: he doesn’t have the earth god’s powers like his opponents. His elemental gift is something else—something that hasn’t been seen in centuries.

When an attempted revenge plot goes dangerously wrong, Ash inadvertently throws the fire and earth gods into a conflict that can only be settled by deadly, lavish gladiator games. The fights put Madoc in Ash’s path, and she realizes that his powers are the weapon her rebellion needs—but Madoc won’t jeopardize his family, regardless of how intrigued he is by the beautiful warrior.

But when the gods force Madoc’s hand, he and Ash uncover an ancient war that will threaten more than one immortal—it will unravel the world.

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“Sweat dripped into Madoc’s eyes, soaking the frayed neck of his grime-streaked tunic and burning an open wound on his jaw.”

*Saturday Spotlight* Nocturna by Maya Motayne

nocturna.jpgTitle: Nocturna

Author: Maya Motayne

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: May 7, 2019

Page Count: 480 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

Set in a Latinx-inspired world, a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed.

To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.

As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.

After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.

But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.

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Purchase Links

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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 About the Author

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Maya Motayne decided to be a writer when she was four years old and hasn’t stopped writing since. She lives in New York City where she pursues her passions of petting as many dogs as possible and buying purses based on whether or not they can fit a big book in them. Nocturna is her first novel. (Bio and photo provided from Goodreads)

*Review* On the Come Up- Angie Thomas

35068618     Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be, and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

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My Review:

“I lost my cool so bad that I’ve lost more than I realize. I’m lost. I’m so lost that I’m exhausted from trying to find my way.”

The Hate U Give is one of my all time favorite books and I couldn’t recommend it enough. When she announced that a second book was on the way, I was stoked and couldn’t wait for Bri’s story. It pains me to say this but this was hyped too much and this didn’t hit me the way THUG did. I remember being emotionally crushed after reading that and this one just left me content.

It took me a lot longer to connect with the characters in this book than with her first. Bri’s character didn’t have that emotional attachment like Starr did. Plus I was flabbergasted at how Bri treated and disobeyed her family. I would have gotten the shoe if I did something like that.

Angie hits a lot of strong subjects in this book. It makes some references to the first book and it leads to larger problems at the school. Scenes will leave you shocked because this actually happens in the real world as people turn a blind eye to it. This will make you open your eyes and look at things differently. We need to support one another and not let these people of hate get away with it. 

 

stacy

*First Line Friday* Circle of Shadows- Evelyn Skye

Happy Friday! The weekend is almost here and I am excited. We are getting ready for the Christmas break and also preparing for a few blog tours coming up in the next few weeks.

What are your weekend plans?

This week, I’m going with a book JT and I both highly enjoyed. I finished it this morning and wow!!!

Happy Reading!!

 

39938149    A thrilling new fantasy series full of magic and betrayal—from Evelyn Skye, New York Times bestselling author of the Crown’s Game series.

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied around his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.

As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging in the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark.

So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group. Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

Love, spies, and adventure abound as Sora and Daemon unravel a complex web of magic and secrets that might tear them—and the entire kingdom—apart forever.

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“There are two possibilities after this stunt- we’ll be the empress’s favorite taigas or we’ll get expelled and taken away in chains…..”

stacy

 

*The Page 69 Test* On The Come Up- Angie Thomas

The Page 69 Test    My co-bloggers and I have started a new weekly blog post: The Page 69 Test! Have you heard of the page 69 test? If not, it’s basically where you read page 69 of a book you think you will like. If you liked reading page 69, chances are you will enjoy reading the rest of the book.

Instead of posting the full page, we will be posting the first 10-20 lines of that page, starting with the first full sentence.

This week I decided to give everyone a sneak peek of one of the most anticipated reads of 2019. On The Come Up by Angie Thomas. Her first novel, The Hate U Give blew all of us away and now we all must wait until February for Bri to enter all of our worlds. But today you are getting a special glimpse at this book.

Enjoy!!

“She glances over at me. You okay, Bookie?

     According to Granddaddy, Jackson’s don’t cry- we suck it up and deal with it. Doesn’t matter how much my eyes burn. 

I didn’t do anything wrong. 

No, you didn’t, Jay says. You had every right to keep your backpack. But Bri… Promise me, if that ever happens again, you’ll do what they tell you to do.

What?

Bad things can happen, baby. People like that sometimes abuse their power.

So, I don’t have any power? 

You have more power than you know. But it’s moments like that, I— She swallows. I need you to act as if you don’t have any. Once you’re safely out of the situation, then we’ll handle it. But I need you safely out of the situation. Okay?

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*First Line Friday* On The Come Up- Angie Thomas (Arc)

35887567     Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be, and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

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“I might have to kill somebody tonight.”

 

stacy

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

Image result for another glorious monday makes me sick

This week I’m going to be reading a book that I picked up earlier this year and some highly anticipated book mail!

What are you reading this week?

Deeper- Robin York

18525821    In Robin York’s sizzling debut, a college student is attacked online and must restore her name—and stay clear of a guy who’s wrong for her, but feels so right.

When Caroline Piasecki’s ex-boyfriend posts their sex pictures on the Internet, it destroys her reputation as a nice college girl. Suddenly her once-promising future doesn’t look so bright. Caroline tries to make the pictures disappear, hoping time will bury her shame. Then a guy she barely knows rises to her defense and punches her ex to the ground.

West Leavitt is the last person Caroline needs in her life. Everyone knows he’s shady. Still, Caroline is drawn to his confidence and swagger—even after promising her dad she’ll keep her distance. On late, sleepless nights, Caroline starts wandering into the bakery where West works.

They hang out, they talk, they listen. Though Caroline and West tell each other they’re “just friends,” their feelings intensify until it becomes impossible to pretend. The more complicated her relationship with West gets, the harder Caroline has to struggle to discover what she wants for herself—and the easier it becomes to find the courage she needs to fight back against the people who would judge her.

When all seems lost, sometimes the only place to go is deeper.

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Deeper was one of those cheap buys that I found at Dollar General about a year ago. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to start it. It’s amazing so far.

On The Come Up- Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it 35887567out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be, and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

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I think On The Come Up is on everyone’s tbr. I freaked out when I received this arc in the mail last week. HarperCollins knows the way to a book nerds heart!!

Quarantine: A Love Story- Katie Cicatelli-Kuc

39983526   Oliver wants a girlfriend, and there’s a girl back home who might be interested in him. The problem is, he has to spend his spring break on a volunteer trip in the Dominican Republic. Flora, on the other hand, isn’t really looking for a boyfriend. She just wants to end a miserable spring break visiting her dad and her new stepmom in the D.R.

The solution to both their problems? Get back home to New York ASAP. Sadly, they won’t be getting there anytime soon.

Their hopes are dashed when Flora’s impulsiveness lands them in quarantine — just the two of them. Now, the two teens must come together in order to survive life in a bubble for 30 days. In that time, love will bloom. But is it the real thing, or just a placebo effect?

In her debut novel, Katie Cicatelli-Kuc delivers an introspective and witty story about finding love in the most unexpected place.

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This one just sounded amazing and Scholastic supplied. They are one of my favorite publishers and their team is super friendly and awesome.

Happy Reading!!

stacy