It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 4/6/20

It’s Monday and welcome to April!

This week I’m going to be reading a book that I ordered from an Indie Book Store, a book that I picked up at ALA Midwinter, and a book that I requested from NetGalley.

What are you reading this week?

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Cold as Marb;e- Zoe Aarsen

43822646Look out for the original series—starring Peyton List, Brent Rivera, Liana Liberato, Ajiona Alexus, and Dylan Sprayberry—now streaming on Hulu!

McKenna’s mission to save her friends from their predicted deaths continues in the second installment in the Light as a Feather series that’s perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina!

The deadly game continues…

Olivia and Candace are dead, both casualties of Violet’s deadly game of Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board. McKenna and Mischa are the only ones left, and having failed to locate and destroy the source of Violet’s power, her curse still abounds, eager to claim more lives.

What does Violet want? And how can she be stopped? Armed with a mysterious package containing clues, as well as a little help from the beyond, McKenna hopes to end this once and for all…before it’s too late.

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The Comeback- Ella Berman

51941088. sx318 sy475 A deep dive into the psyche of a young actress raised in the spotlight under the influence of a charming, manipulative film director and the moment when she decides his time for winning is over.

At the height of her career and on the eve of her first Golden Globe nomination, teen star Grace Turner disappeared.

Now, tentatively sober and surprisingly numb, Grace is back in Los Angeles after her year of self-imposed exile. She knows the new private life she wants isn’t going to be easy as she tries to be a better person and reconnect with the people she left behind.

But when Grace is asked to present a lifetime achievement award to director Able Yorke–the man who controlled her every move for eight years–she realizes that she can’t run from the secret behind her spectacular crash and burn for much longer. And she’s the only one with nothing left to lose.

Alternating between past and present, The Comeback tackles power dynamics and the uncertainty of young adulthood, the types of secrets that become part of our sense of self, and the moments when we learn that though there are many ways to get hurt, we can still choose to fight back.

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The Mall- Megan McCafferty

50148657. sy475 New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty returns to her roots with this YA coming of age story set in a New Jersey mall.

The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like, totally fresh. Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she and her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education and happily ever after.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

Set entirely in a classic “monument to consumerism,” the novel follows Cassie as she finds friendship, love, and ultimately herself, in the most unexpected of places. Megan McCafferty, beloved New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series, takes readers on an epic trip back in time to The Mall.

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 3/30/20

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone is safe and healthy during these strange times.

What have you been doing to stay active or busy? I’ve been reading and watching some bad tv. Also chatting with my friends to keep me sane.

This week I’m going to be reading a very squeal-worthy e-arc sent from the publisher and a reread of an old favorite.

What are you reading this week?

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Snuff- Chuck Palahniuk

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From the master of literary mayhem and provocation, a full-frontal Triple X novel that goes where no American work of fiction has gone before

Cassie Wright, porn priestess, intends to cap her legendary career by breaking the world record for serial fornication. On camera. With six hundred men. Snuff unfolds from the perspectives of Mr. 72, Mr. 137, and Mr. 600, who await their turn on camera in a very crowded green room. This wild, lethally funny, and thoroughly researched novel brings the huge yet underacknowledged presence of pornography in contemporary life into the realm of literary fiction at last. Who else but Chuck Palahniuk would dare do such a thing? Who else could do it so well, so unflinchingly, and with such an incendiary (you might say) climax?

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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue- V.E. Schwab

50623864A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

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It’s Monday (On a Tuesday), What Are You Reading? 2/24/20

Happy Tuesday!

I know that I usually post this on Monday but I was feeling kind of crummy yesterday. So here is what I’m going to try to read this week.

What are you reading?

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Be Not Far From Me- Mindy McGinnis

46139175The world is not tame.

Ashley knows this truth deep in her bones, more at home with trees overhead than a roof. So when she goes hiking in the Smokies with her friends for a night of partying, the falling dark and creaking trees are second nature to her. But people are not tame either. And when Ashley catches her boyfriend with another girl, drunken rage sends her running into the night, stopped only by a nasty fall into a ravine. Morning brings the realization that she’s alone – and far off-trail. Lost in undisturbed forest and with nothing but the clothes on her back, Ashley must figure out how to survive despite the red streak of infection creeping up her leg.

 

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The Princess and the Fangirl- Ashley Poston

39725622. sy475 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.

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The Dilemma- B.A. Paris

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It’s Livia’s fortieth birthday and tonight she’s having a party, a party she’s been planning for a long time. The only person missing will be her daughter, Marnie.

But Livia has a secret, a secret she’s been keeping from Adam, her husband, until the party is over. Because how can she tell him that although she loves Marnie, she’s glad their daughter won’t be there to celebrate with her?

Adam is determined everything will be just right for Livia and the party is going to be perfect… until he learns something that will leave him facing an unbearable decision.

 

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Vampironica- Greg Smallwood

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When Veronica is bitten by a centuries-old vampire, her thirst for blood threatens to turn Riverdale into a haven for the undead. Will she put an end to the vampire threat or give in to her blood lust? Archie Horror’s latest series paints Riverdale red in the vampiric first collection by siblings Greg & Megan Smallwood.

 

 

 

 

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*Book Review* Pax Novis by Erica Cameron

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Title: Pax Novis (The Pax Archives #1)

Author: Erica Cameron

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Release Date: November 4, 2019

Page Count: 400 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Summary:

Cira Antares is deeply loyal to two things: Pax Novis—the cargo ship captained by her mother that transports supplies across war-torn star systems—and her personal mission to save war orphans. But hiding them as stowaways on the ship is illegal, and if any of them were found, not even her mother could protect Cira from the consequences.

She has successfully kept her secret…until supplies start to go missing. Food. Clothing. Tools. All signs point to her stowaways, but they wouldn’t do anything to risk exposing themselves—or her. Especially not Riston, the oldest of the group and someone Cira has grown close to. Someone she might even be falling in love with…

And petty thefts are only the beginning—whole ships are disappearing now.

Not caught in a firefight. Not destroyed by another planet. Vanishing. Without a trace.

And Pax Novis is next.

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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

INDIE BOUND

Please note: A Court of Coffee and Books receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links above. All commission earned goes toward supporting and maintaining this blog.

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My Review

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for a digital review copy in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Pax Novis is a fun and thrilling space adventure set far into the future. Earth isn’t the only planet that contains lifeforms, so it was really cool to see how Cameron designs the future. I loved the overall setting and the character representation in Pax Novis, as well as the main plot behind the story.

Erica Cameron provides just enough information to make the reader aware of the world surrounding the ship, Pax Novis, which is where most of the book takes place. There were some instances where I felt there was information overload, but as the story progressed, I understood why so much was revealed at once; it was necessary to know that information for the future of the story. And I loved how everything pieced together by the end of the story!

Even though I did enjoy this science fiction story, I was a little thrown off by the slow plot. I felt that it took awhile for any action to really take place and set the story in motion. It did pick up for the last 100 pages or so, but I was hoping for more of an action-packed science fiction adventure. Those aspects are present, just not throughout the whole book, mainly the adventure part. But the mystery part was fun; I’m all for a good mystery and I loved how this one came together in stellar fashion.

It did take a few chapters before I got used to the writing and identification. One character does not identify as he/she but rather as the ‘Z’ pronouns, which I haven’t read a book yet that did that, so it was really nice to see that take shape. Even though it took a few chapters for me to get acquainted with the use of those pronouns, I thought it added a nice representation to the storyline and character. When it comes to the main two characters, I found them to be well-written and beautifully flawed, yet strong and brave. That’s what I love in characters: that characters are meant to come across as strong, but also highlight their flaws. That’s what makes them human, and Cameron does a wonderful job portraying those traits.

Overall, I enjoyed this thrilling science fiction adventure and I found it to be an entertaining and light read for the YA genre.

My rating: 3.0 stars out of 5 stars

nikole

*ARC Review* Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon

9780525647829

Title: Gravemaidens

Author: Kelly Coon

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: October 29, 2019

Page Count: 416 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave.

In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.

When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.

But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.

Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.

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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

INDIE BOUND

Please note: A Court of Coffee and Books receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links above. All commission earned goes toward supporting and maintaining this blog.

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My Review

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the advanced e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

When I first picked up Gravemaidens, I was beyond excited to start a book with a fierce main character and an intricate plot. Unfortunately, this book didn’t live up to my expectations; the book offered enthralling world building and a complex and distinctive plot, but unmemorable characters.

Kammani knows being a Sacred Maiden is a curse and a death wish. She knows it means dying in this world to become a queen in the next, and to her that’s terrifying. She doesn’t see it as an honor like everyone else. And when Nanaea, her sister, is picked as one of the three Sacred Maidens, Kammani can feel her entire world crashing around her. Her sister, who is beyond overjoyed, doesn’t quite understand why Kammani sees it as just death. And Kammani doesn’t understand why Nanaea would want to die. So Kammani does everything she possibly can to save the Alu’s ruler from dying and save her sister from the Boatman.

I really did like Kammani as the main character; she’s easy to understand and easy to relate to; no one wants to see a family member die, especially their younger sister. Kammani was a strong and brave character who knew she was getting herself into trouble but did it anyway, in hopes of saving her sister. She didn’t have much time to be a child, so her childhood was spent with her growing up and making sure her family survived. And even with saying all that, I didn’t find much character growth with Kammani, which is why her story line isn’t so memorable to me. Don’t get me wrong, she’s an interesting character, I just didn’t feel that connection I look for with the main character.

I would have liked to see more characterization of Dagan, the main love interest. He’s already madly in love with Kammani and basically throughout the first half of the book, he spends his time trying to win her over. Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing, considering he wants to marry her. But Kammani isn’t ready to get married (which is completely fine), but she doesn’t seem to fully tell Dagan her reasonings, at least not yet. I did think, however, that Dagan improved as a character about half-way through the book. I liked his relationship with Kammani and I thought there was definitely something there, I just wish there was more development with their relationship and maybe there will be in the sequel.

In all honesty, what really put this book on my radar was the story line of the Sacred Maidens and the Boatman. It’s unique and intriguing. I was a little disappointed that there was not much on the Boatman in the book, but I understand why, since he comes to collect the souls of those that are dead. Either way, I thought it was a great idea. As Nanaea is a Sacred Maiden, the reader gets to see what really goes on behind the scenes with being a Sacred Maiden and why it is so important to their kingdom and their tradition to have these girls join the ruler in the afterlife. It’s an interesting concept, one that I enjoyed reading about.

Even though I was not loving all the characters, I was obsessed with the world building and the writing. Coon describes a harsh world but in beautiful and rich prose, and it’s downright captivating. The descriptions captured my attention and created an intricate picture of each scene in my head. Coon did an amazing job describing the hardships, the violence, and the good and bad within this world. The world itself is just as enchanting as the cover of this book (which is gorgeous!). If anything, the world was by far my favorite part of this book, and also the Sacred Maidens concept.

But overall, Gravemaidens is a beautiful tale, with a unique plot and harsh yet captivating world. Even thought I was not a big fan of this book, I do still plan to read the sequel, as I liked the ending and I’m curious as to how everything is going to wrap up.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

nikole

*Review* The Chain- Adrian McKinty

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You just dropped off your child at the bus stop. A panicked stranger calls your phone. Your child has been kidnapped, and the stranger explains that their child has also been kidnapped, by a completely different stranger. The only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child within 24 hours. Your child will be released only when the next victim’s parents kidnap yet another child, and most importantly, the stranger explains, if you don’t kidnap a child, or if the next parents don’t kidnap a child, your child will be murdered. You are now part of The Chain.

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“The Egyptians lived in a god-and-demon-infested world. There are demons here too, but they are human beings.”

This is every parent’s worst nightmare. You think your child is safe and then you get that dreaded call that your child has been kidnapped. That made this book intense, terrifying, and I just couldn’t stop reading it. It was really addicting even though it was seriously f***ed up.

You think your life is going good. You have a daughter you love unconditionally, you’ve had some great news about your health, and you just got a job that will change your life. And then you get a call that makes your life crash to the ground. Your daughter has been kidnapped and if you don’t follow every direction perfectly, you’ll break the chain and your daughter will die.

The panicked stranger tells you the rules. You have a short period of time to transfer a lot of money in bitcoins to an account on the dark web and then you have to complete the horrifying second part. You must kidnap another kid and relay those same terms to them. You have to pick someone that won’t go to the cops and break that chain. Any little slip will cause a chain reaction in children being murdered.

Now you must become a part of the chain to get your family back. Would you be strong enough to keep the chain intact? Or will you break that chain and cause chaos to your family and lots of others?

This book was completely insane. I didn’t know much about it until a friend mentioned it to me and I was instantly sold. It was morbid and made your skin crawl but there was something about it that I became obsessed with. The mystery was strong and it takes a bit to figure it out but once you do it is shocking.

The Chain is not for the faint of heart. This will be that book that haunts your dreams and makes you hug your children a little closer. It was unique and you won’t be able to put it down. It’s definitely an amazing read in dark sort of way but a must-read.

stacy

The Netgalley Tag

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So I was tagged by Devouring Books to answer these questions about Netgalley and since I am an avid user of Netgalley and it’s one of my favorite topics I figured I would do it right away. This Tag was originally created by Kourtni at Kourtni Reads.

The Rules:

  • Link back to the tag’s creator, Kourtni at Kourtni Reads.
  • Thank and link back to the person who tagged you
  • Answer the questions the best you can. If you don’t use NetGalley, you can substitute other sites or places where you get books!
  • Tag a few people to do this tag too.

NetGalley Questions

AUTO-APPROVED: Who’s one author whose books you automatically want to read, regardless of what they are about?

There’s more than one author for me that’s an automatic read: Sarah J. Maas, Sara Raasch, Sara Holland, Stephanie Garber, C. S. Johnson, Caryn Lix, Astrid Scholte, Meg Kassel, Holly Black, Adrienne Young, Cassandra Clare, and Heather Fawcett. I know there’s a ton more authors on my list, but my brain is hitting a wall.

request

REQUEST: What makes you want to request a book on NetGalley?

Usually the first thing I look for is if I recognize the cover, especially if it’s one of a book I really want to read. But even if not, the cover, description, and author are reasons as to why I would request books.

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BADGES: If you could create one badge to display on your blog, what would it be for?

I definitely do wish there were a ton more badges NetGalley had to offer. One I would love to see is the creativity and uniqueness of my reviews. We all review differently, so I think it would be cool to see how creative all our reviews are. Either way, I definitely think there should be a badge that focuses on reviews.

wishWISH FOR IT: What’s one book that you are absolutely dying to read?

The current book I really want to read is Wicked Saints by Emily A. DuncanThis book sounds absolutely amazing and I would love to have the chance to review this beauty. Plus, the cover was just revealed and oh my! It’s a gorgeous one!

challenge2018 NETGALLEY CHALLENGE: What was the last ARC that you reviewed?

The last ARC I reviewed that I received from NetGalley was Star-Crossed by Pintip Dunn.

Let’s Talk NetGalley!

I love using NetGalley, so I’m curious: do you use Netgalley? If so, what’s one title you are hoping to get approved for? If you don’t use NetGalley for your blog, I highly recommend!

For this NetGalley Tag, I tag…

  1. Paper Eyed Girl
  2. A Bella Fairy Tale
  3. So Many Books, So Little Time
  4. The Scarlet Reader