It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 5/18/20

Hello and happy Monday! I hope everyone is doing well!

This week I’m going to be reading an arc that I picked up at BEA years ago (It’s even signed by the author), an arc that I picked up at ALA Midwinter, and a book that I’ve been wanting to read for a while.

What are you reading?

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All the Crooked Saints- Maggie Stiefvater

30025336. sy475 From bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater, a gripping tale of darkness, miracles, and family. Saints. Miracles. Family. Romance. Death. Redemption.

Here is a thing everyone wants: A miracle.

Here is a thing everyone fears:
What it takes to get one.

Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.

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The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea- Maggie Tokuda-Hall

51710973. sx318 sy475 A desperate orphan turned pirate and a rebellious imperial daughter find a connection on the high seas in a world divided by colonialism and threaded with magic.

Aboard the pirate ship Dove, Flora the girl takes on the identity of Florian the man to earn the respect and protection of the crew. For Flora, former starving urchin, the brutal life of a pirate is about survival: don’t trust, don’t stick out, and don’t feel. But on this voyage, as the pirates prepare to sell their unsuspecting passengers into slavery, Flora is drawn to the Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, who is en route to a dreaded arranged marriage with her own casket in tow. Flora doesn’t expect to be taken under Evelyn’s wing, and Evelyn doesn’t expect to find such a deep bond with the pirate Florian.

Soon the unlikely pair set in motion a wild escape that will free a captured mermaid (coveted for her blood, which causes men to have visions and lose memories) and involve the mysterious Pirate Supreme, an opportunistic witch, and the all-encompassing Sea itself.

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Devils & Thieves- Jennifer Rush

25843018. sy475 Power corrupts. Magic kills.

Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael is surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called “kindled,” and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn’t help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe—the dangerous and enigmatic leader of Hawthorne’s kindled motorcycle gang, the Devils’ League.

When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumor spreads that someone is practicing forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all.

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*Cover Reveal* All the Tides of Fate (All the Stars and Teeth #2)- Adalyn Grace

The ​thrilling sequel to instant New York Times bestseller All the Stars and Teeth, called “captivating” by Tomi Adeyemi, “Vicious and alluring” by Hafsah Faizal, and “phenomenal” by Adrienne Young. Now author Adalyn Grace is back with more high seas adventure in this electrifying fantasy, perfect for fans of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.

Through blood and sacrifice, Amora Montara has conquered a rebellion and taken her rightful place as queen of Visidia. Now, with the islands in turmoil and the people questioning her authority, Amora cannot allow anyone to see her weaknesses.

No one can know about the curse in her bloodline. No one can know that she’s lost her magic. No one can know the truth about the boy who holds the missing half of her soul.

To save herself and Visidia, Amora embarks on a desperate quest for a mythical artifact that could fix everything―but it comes at a terrible cost. As she tries to balance her loyalty to her people, her crew, and the desires of her heart, Amora will soon discover that the power to rule might destroy her.

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You get really excited about lame stuff, like low interest rates ...

 

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*Blog Tour + Giveaway* All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

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Title: All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1)

Author: Adalyn Grace

Publisher: Imprint

Release Date: February 4th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Pirates

Synopsis:

Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice, Adalyn Grace’s All the Stars and Teeth is a thrilling fantasy for fans of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.

She will reign.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Books 

Apple Books | Book Depository | Kobo

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Author Information

AUTHOR (13)

Adalyn Grace graduated Summa Cum Laude when she was 19-years-old. She spent four years working in live theater, and acted as the managing editor of a nonprofit newspaper. During and after college, she studied storytelling as an intern on Nickelodeon Animation’s popular animated show, The Legend of Korra (sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender). She was a participant in Pitch Wars 2016, and is a former literary agent intern for an established agency.

Adalyn splits time between San Diego and Arizona with her bossy cat and two dorky dogs, and spends her days writing full time while trying to find the city’s best burrito.

She has several projects in the works, and hopes to continually push the boundaries and explore the limits of upper young adult fiction.

You can follow her on Twitter, at @AdalynGrace_

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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My Review

“Fear is part of life; all that matters is what we do with it.”

2020 is off to a great reading year, all thanks to this beautiful fantasy debut. All the Stars and Teeth is a powerful and adventurous debut that is bound to be a front runner in the YA fantasy section this year. This book has strong characters, pirates, mermaids, an unique magic system, and exquisite action scenes. But most of all, this story has heart and showcases what it means to handle an unknown future and to fight for a world you want to protect.

“But even our idols–those we want to love and trust more than anything–can let us down.”

This world, this story, is everything I look for in a YA fantasy book. There’s constant action in this book, starting from the first page to the last sentence. There was never a time where the story was overwhelming or description-overload; it had the perfect amount of witty banter and magic. The world Adalyn Grace has created is breathtaking and spellbinding; I love the whole island concept and the magic system. But though I loved the world, the characters are what sold this story to me.

“The mistakes I made in the past do not make me weak; I’ll use them to become stronger. I’m done being afraid of my own power.”

I absolutely loved the characters. Amora is strong and fierce and will do absolutely anything for her people and kingdom. Her bravery, selflessness, and unrelenting desire to fix the wrongs is what made her voice interesting and captivating. Her soul magic is what makes her people (and herself) frightened; it’s a magic she intends to master and use for good, but first, she has to choose to no longer be afraid of her dangerous magic and her past. Her story is one that is mesmerizing and she has a voice that demands to be heard, a voice that easily makes this story a dazzling read.

“We’ve shared an experience only a few people will understand, and it’s marked our souls. The sea is a beast more fearsome than even the Lusca.”

And then there’s Bastian, the pirate who wants his stolen magic back, but also wants to see a mysterious evil brought to its end. Bastian is definitely swoon-worthy, but also soft, in a good way. He has a deep and hurtful history that, at times, becomes personal to the story. His past has scarred him, but yet he continues to move on and fight for what’s right. Bastian is, in every way, a character with many flaws but a strong soul, which is why him and Amora have such a strong bond. And I loved their scenes together; they have great chemistry together and both, in similar yet different ways, want what’s best for the kingdom. Their romance is not so strong that it overtakes the whole story, but it’s strong enough to illustrate that there is more to come for both characters. Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely romance (and kissing!), but it builds overtime and not all at once, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

But I have to say one of my overall favorite characters was Vataea. She’s sassy and, at some times, quite charming but she proves to be an ally and possibly a friend. Her scenes (especially with Ferrick) had me jumping for joy because I loved the idea of a powerful mermaid who fits perfectly well with this ordinary crew. I’m really hoping to see more of her in the second book; she’s got an interesting backstory, and I’d love to find out more about her.

“We’re more than our blood, both of us.”

Adalyn Grace’s writing is lush and beautiful. She depicts a world of enchantment and magic, but also filled with growing darkness and fear. I was easily able to fall into this story and imagine myself beside Amora and her crew. Grace’s writing is filled with so much heart that I could see just how much this story meant to her. Her writing is lyrical at times, especially when describing the islands and the magic system and characters. Grace can also weave together an action scene so splendidly that it felt as if I was on the ship with them, fighting the sea beast or the cursed darkness. Her writing, overall, provided the perfect voice for this wonderful fantasy story.

All the Stars and Teeth will most likely be one of my favorite reads of the year. If you enjoy fantasy stories with a swoon-worthy pirate, loyal friends, dangerous mermaids, and a unique magic system, then I definitely recommend reading this beautiful story. I can’t wait for the second book, but in the meantime, I’ll continue to gush about this book to anyone!

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

 

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Extra Materials

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Excerpt

Book Trailer

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Tour Schedule

Check out the amazing book bloggers on this tour!

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Giveaway

Prize: Win a finished copy of ALL THE STARS AND TEETH by Adalyn Grace (US/CAN Only)

Starts: February 4th 2020

Ends: February 18th 2020

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!

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*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Coral by Sara Ella

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Title: Coral

Author: Sara Ella

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: November 12th 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Mermaids, Fairy Tales

Synopsis:

Multiple award-winning young adult author Sara Ella reimagines The Little Mermaid in a powerful and unexpected way.

Sixteen-year-old mermaid Coral has always been different, standing out from her stoic sisters in a society where blending in is key. Worse yet, she fears she has been afflicted with the dreaded Disease. Said to be carried by humans, the Disease imposes emotions on its victims, causing them to commit unspeakable acts. The growing illness inside her, while terrifying, fascinates her very core. Where others see danger, Coral sees life. Could it be the colorless merfolk who are truly ill?

Above the sea, seventeen-year-old Brooke Jordan has nothing left to give. A homeless girl abandoned and forgotten, the only thing Brooke can rely on is the ocean. Her aching feet find refuge within the cool and comforting waves, while her broken heart grows harder with each passing day. When Brooke’s and Coral’s worlds collide, everything alters in an instant. From learning to stand alone, to discovering the strength it takes to rely on another, the girls find that living requires taking that first painful breath. Each must make sacrifices, and when it comes to finding true love? Let’s just say the boys in their lives must learn to swim if they’re ever going to survive the storms.

Battling the odds against them, the girls will do whatever it takes to survive. But what must end for love and life to finally begin?

Taking a new twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved fairy tale, this modern-day story explores mental health from several perspectives, questioning what it means to be human in a world where humanity often seems lost.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

iTunes | Kobo

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Author Information

AUTHOR (10)

Once upon a time, Sara Ella dreamed she would marry a prince and live in a Disney castle. Today, she spends her days throwing living room dance parties for her two princesses, raising her little prince to be a king, and conquering realms of her own imaginings. Oh, and her husband is definitely more swoon-worthy than any Prince Charming.

Sara’s UNBLEMISHED trilogy has received high praise and multiple awards, but none as rewarding as the love and support she receives from her readers every day. Her new story CORAL, a reimagining of THE LITTLE MERMAID, releases in the fall of 2019.

When she’s not on deadline, Sara Ella can most often be found fangirling on Twitter, Instagram, or her YouTube channel. She may or may not be obsessed with #Bookstagram, and she has a serious condition known as “Coffee Snob-itis.” She believes “Happily Ever After is Never Far Away.”

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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Tour Schedule

Check out all the amazing bloggers on this blog tour!

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My Review

Please note: Coral includes some potential triggers, click here to see Sara’s note on trigger warnings. 

“Time was a ribbon. She could fold it and tie it, bend it, lose it. Cut it. But if she cut it, she could never piece it back together the way it was before. She could never get it back. All she had left was after. And after was never the same.”

The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite stories (the original and Disney version), so of course I jumped up for joy when I saw that Coral was The Little Mermaid retelling with a contemporary/fantasy twist. This book had a ton of elements I love (retellings and anything to do with fantasy), and to me, this story did not disappoint.

One thing I loved about Coral is how the characters’ stories wrapped with one another with such ease. The way Sara Ella writes their stories with mesmerizing prose is captivating and it truly brings the story together. The characters are so well developed and genuine that it will be easy for any reader to find a connection with one of the characters. I enjoyed the inclusion of mental health and how Sara Ella made the characters feel so human and real; each character, especially Brooke, has something that makes them utterly human; with these characters, I felt like I wasn’t alone, like these characters were my longtime friends.

“True love makes life, even a broken one, worth fighting for.”

I will admit it did take me awhile to get into the story and that’s only because I’m not a big fan of contemporary books, and Coral does present some contemporary elements, but other than that, I became enthralled with the world and the main characters. Sara Ella weaves together a beautiful and heart wrenching story about love and sacrifice and finding yourself. Coral is a stunningly raw story with vulnerable characters that experience the trauma and love of life. However, I did get a tad bit confused toward the end of the book, with how the story got to its ending. But other than that, I loved this story and how much light it shines on mental health.

“It might be impossible to change the past. But who said starting over had anything to do with going back?”

Coral is a beautifully intricate story filled with life and love and hard decisions. Fans of The Little Mermaid would love this story, along with readers who enjoy retellings. Sara Ella addresses the things that make us human in her book and how she depicts everything is what made me love this book. Coral is out on bookshelves now, so grab your copy today!

My rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars

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Giveaway

Prize: Win (1) of (5) finished copies of CORAL by Sara Ella (US Only) 

Starts: 15th November 2019

Ends: 28th November 2019 

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*First Line Friday 8/16/19* Sea Witch Rising- Sarah Henning

42800505. sy475 “The Little Mermaid” takes a twisted turn in this thrilling sequel to villainess origin story Sea Witch, as the forces of land and sea clash in an epic battle for freedom, redemption, and true love. 

Runa will not let her twin sister die. Alia traded her voice to the Sea Witch for a shot at happiness with a prince who doesn’t love her. And his rejection will literally kill her—unless Runa intervenes.

Under the sea, Evie craves her own freedom—but liberation from her role as Sea Witch will require an exchange she may not be willing to make. With their hearts’ desires at odds, what will Runa and Evie be willing to sacrifice to save their worlds?

Told from alternating perspectives, this epic fairy tale retelling is a romantic and heart-wrenching story about the complications of sisterhood, the uncompromising nature of magic, and the cost of redemption.

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“The sharpest of things keeps its edge even in the dullest of settings.”