The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Title: The Hazel Wood
Author: Melissa Albert
Published: January 30th 2018 by Flatiron Books
Buy: Amazon : Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.
The Hazel Wood takes a page from traditional Fairy Tales, with it’s dark and twisty story. I loved, loved the writing style of Melissa Albert. It has that lyrical quality that makes you want to just read anything she writes. The plot is fantastic as it is dark. It left me with that feeling when I was finished reading that even though the story was done, you still feel an attachment to it.

I admit, the story had a slow start for me. I think I just lack patience anymore. I’m ready to get moving, like I want to climb into the story and go searching for things. Like a particular book. The writing, however, was perfect all the way through. So even though it felt slow starting, I enjoyed the writing so much that I would have kept reading anyway. Which of course I’m glad I did, because once it picked up. I was hooked.

It’s hard to find a way to describe the plot because there are so many different components. The more that Alice tumbles down her own rabbit hole. The more stones are overturned. I loved the way that the Fairy Tales are woven into the plot and the fact that it’s Tales of the Hinterland. So it’s not stories that we, as the reader, have heard before. So every little scrap of information is like one that you are starving for, just like Alice. It’s one of those tales that leaves you feeling a little haunted after reading but you don’t want to go into much depth about in order to keep from giving anything away.

Alice and her mother, Ella are nomads. They move from place to place and it’s not as if they are running from someone in particular. To Alice, they are running from bad luck. Alice dreams of getting to know her famous grandmother Alethea Porsepine, but her mother Ella wants nothing to do with the past. Alice is such an interesting character because she doesn’t seem bitter about moving, I think she has adopted this idea that Ella is all she needs. That they find strength in one another. So when her mother is taken, it’s a whole new world for Alice to have to possibly rely on someone else for help. Her character growth and her relationship with Ella is one the really interesting parts of the book.

Ellory Finch is rich, which I think sometimes Alice uses that against him. He’s also a super fan of her grandmothers stories and her best resource to finding her mother. They go from an tentative acquaintance to a stronger bond as they travel together. I liked him, he was different.

If you are a fan of Fairy Tales, this is one for you to definitely read. If you are not, read it anyway because it’s not a retelling of the tales you know.

Sightwitch by Susan Dennard

So with Sightwitch coming out just around the corner, I figured I would share a giveaway for some Susan Dennard books!

If you haven't started the Witchlands series, here is your chance. If you never got a chance to finish the Something Strange and Deadly, here is also your chance! If you just want some signed copies? I've got you covered! Maybe you are collecting all versions of Susan Dennard's covers! Here are a couple orginals. :)

Unfortunately due to shipping cost this is a US only giveaway. I'm sorry!!

Yes this is a Link and Zelda approved giveaway

Truthwitch Hardcover (signed)
Strange and Ever After (Book 3) Hardcover (signed)
A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Book 2) Hardcover
Bonus: mystery books

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Here are the deets on Sightwitch so you can make sure you pre-order!!
Title: Sightwitch
Author: Susan Dennard
Published: February 13th 2018 by Tor Teen

Set a year before Truthwitch, Sightwitch follows Ryber Fortiza, the last Sightwitch Sister as she treks deep underground to rescue her missing best friend. While there, she encounters a young Nubrevnan named Kullen Ikray, who has no memory of who he is or how he wound up inside the mountain. As the two journey ever deeper in search of answers, and as they brave one close call after another, a tentative friendship forms between them—one that might one day grow into something more.

Sightwitch is told through Ryber’s journal entries and her sketches, as well as through supplementary materials (such as other journals, pieces of songs, clippings from history books, flashbacks, etc.). Though meant as a companion novella, this story serves as a set up to Bloodwitch as well as an expansion of the world


True Storm by L.E. Sterling Cover Reveal

Let us know what you think of the cover for True Storm (True Born Trilogy, #3) by L.E. Sterling, which releases May 1, 2018!

This cover reveal is brought to you by Entangled Teen.

About True Storm:

If you can't beat them, change them...

Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of True Storm (True Born Trilogy, #3) by L.E. Sterling today!


Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled Publishing

Earlier Books in the True Born Trilogy:


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L.E. Sterling had an early obsession with sci-fi, fantasy and romance to which she remained faithful even through an M.A. in Creative Writing and a PhD in English Literature - where she completed a thesis on magical representation. She is the author of two previous novels, the cult hit Y/A novel The Originals (under pen name L.E. Vollick), dubbed “the Catcher in the Rye of a new generation” by one reviewer, and the urban fantasy Pluto’s Gate. Originally hailing from Parry Sound, Ontario, L.E. spent most of her summers roaming across Canada in a van with her father, a hippie musician, her brothers and an occasional stray mutt - inspiring her writing career. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen

Title: Reign the Earth (The Elementae #1)
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Published: January 30th 2018 by Bloomsbury
Buy: Amazon : B&N : BD : Goodreads

Shalia is a proud daughter of the desert, but after years of devastating war with the adjoining kingdom, her people are desperate for peace. Willing to trade her freedom to ensure the safety of her family, Shalia becomes Queen of the Bonelands.

But she soon learns that her husband, Calix, is motivated only by his desire to exterminate the Elementae—mystical people who can control earth, wind, air, and fire. Even more unsettling are Shalia’s feelings for her husband’s brother, which unleash a power over the earth she never knew she possessed—a power that could get her killed. As rumors of a rebellion against Calix spread, Shalia must choose between the last chance for peace and her own future as an Elementae.

Reign the Earth was a book that I felt like held nothing back. It’s a story about a girl who refuses to let evil prevail over her life and wants to find peace for everyone. There is definitely violence both as far as the persecution of a certain people as well as in a relationship.

Shalia is a great character. She is a daughter of the desert and her feet will not fail her. She marries the villain of the story and this puts her in his direct path. I’m not sure I’ve read a story where the character is confronted in this way over and over. She comes into the story dreaming of peace and finding that things are not so simple. We see her change and grow as she sees both the horrors and kindness people are capable of. That blood and loyalty can have two different meanings. She might find herself hardening in some ways, but her love for others is her greatest strength and it’s not something that can be taken away.

One of the things I loved the most about this book was Shalia’s relationship with her brothers. Maybe it’s because i have three older brothers, I tend to gravitate towards these kinds of things. The bond she has Kairos (Kai) is something that is a great comfort to her and the reader. I’m like oh thank goodness Kai is there for her. You don’t have to be a lone wolf to be a hero and it’s okay to need support. Her whole family is the type that it doesn’t matter if they are separated by death or distance they are this constant force. I love that. She also has her best friend Kata, who is like a sister to her. They also have such a strong bond and no judgement towards one another.

So there is magic in this book. The Elementia are people who control the different types. Fire, Wind, Water and Earth. It’s very cool how the Earth element takes center stage. It always feel like that is the one nobody wants to be. You see how having the power over the Earth can be really cool! Shalia finds out that she also possesses powers, which puts her in a tricky situation. She doesn’t even realize the extent that Calix is willing to go in order to eliminate the Elementia, which is not limited to torture. As she comes into her own powers, she sees that you can’t hide who you are and this is where we also see growth in her.

The romance was a nice slow burn that is forbidden. It’s not overpowering to the story but it’s there in the vein. You find yourself rooting for Shalia to find happiness at least somewhere.

The book also deals with pregnancy, which is not something you often see in a YA and I found to be really interesting.

I really enjoyed Reign the Earth. I’m already desperate for the next one to see how things will go. I’m not sure what to expect. The book is violent and dark but also has a glimmer of hope that runs through.

Hiding Lies by Julie Cross Cover Reveal

About Hiding Lies:
At Holden Prep, dirty little secrets always have a way of coming to the surface.

Eleanor Ames has never been what she seems. Average high school student on the outside, but reformed con artist trying to break free of her past on the inside. When Eleanor receives startling news about someone from her previous criminal life, plans for a new operation coinciding with her school’s upcoming field trip quickly consume her.

But operations rarely go according to plan. And this is one her irresistible teen FBI agent boyfriend, Miles, would never approve of.

Now, more than just Ellie’s reputation is at stake. If she fails, it could be her life.

Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of Hiding Lies (Eleanor Ames, #2) by NYT bestselling author Julie Cross today!

Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin's Press). She's also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, Chasing Truth, Off the Ice and many more to come! Julie Cross was a longtime resident of central Illinois but has recently moved her entire family across the country to continue her academic studies at Stanford University.

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Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk

Title: Blood and Sand
Author: C.V. Wyk
Published: January 16th 2018 by Tor Teen

The action-packed tale of a 17-year-old warrior princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic--and gave rise to the legend of Spartacus....

Roma Victor. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to build an empire--an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master's favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end--and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus....

How many drafts did you go through before you settled on a copy to submit?

Probably about three. I submitted my second draft of BLOOD AND SAND when I was querying agents (because I was a young noob who didn’t know what a truly polished manuscript looked like), and then my agent and I went through a third round of edits before submitting to publishers. It still took another three or four rounds with my editor though before we got to the final thing. Publishing can be a super long process.

How do you outline? (paper, post-its, google docs)

It really depends on the story. For BLOOD AND SAND, having a detailed timeline—literally writing down what happened to the characters day by day—helped pace the story and figure out what was logistically plausible in terms of travelling from one city to another. When I’m on the go, I jot down lines of dialogue or plot points in my Bullet Journal and on the Notes app on my phone. And when I’m just starting out a brand-new story…I totally pants it!

How did you celebrate the news that your book would be published?

I didn’t really. At least, not for a few days. When I first got the call from my agent that Tor had acquired the book, I got tangled up in my earphones and fell out of my chair. That bruised. After the call though, I just sat down, hugged my laptop to my chest, and closed my eyes. I was excited and happy, of course, but mostly grateful and awestruck and relieved. Someone else had read my story and thought it was worth publishing. After years of pursuing writing on my own, quietly, with no real hope of ever “making it,” that phone call was almost surreal. I needed a few days to myself just to process what was happening before I could fully share the news with others. When I finally did, a bunch of my friends and I went out for tacos 😊

Did you have any input into your cover?

Cover designs are really at the discretion of the publisher. But I saw a sample of text that looked like metal and fell in love with it. The artists at Tor were able to take that concept and run with it, hence the forged iron look of the text used for the title!

If your book was going to be turned into something ie, MMORPG, Graphic Novel, Movie. What would you want it to be?

MMORPG. I have no idea how that would work, but I’m an avid gamer, so it would be awesome to play as some of the characters from BLOOD AND SAND. Maybe they could make hambones and turkey legs options for melee weapons, too!

What genre do you typically read for enjoyment?

SFF is my go-to and how I’ve found some of my all-time favorite books. I also read a lot of YA (of course), historical non-fiction, and, lately, memoirs.

Describe your book in 5 words. This girl’s got a sword.

C.V. Wyk is the author of BLOOD AND SAND, debuting from Tor Teen January 16, 2018. Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Wyk has lived in five states in the continental US (and hopes to add a few international locales to that list). Prone to wanderlust and getting lost, Wyk likes to explore local hiking trails, mountain ranges, dark caves where nefarious mythical creatures undoubtedly reside, and libraries. She currently lives in Maryland with a precocious mini poodle and a demanding guinea pig. In her not-so-spare time, she enjoys playing MMORPGs, kayaking, coding, staring listlessly at blank walls, and nursing a totally healthy coffee addiction.

Website : Twitter : Goodreads : Instagram : Tumblr : Facebook

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Title: The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Published: January 2nd 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black definitely does not skimp on the word cruel. This was a twisty dark tale, where every character has a dark side. I loved the story and how intriguing it was. I admit it left me sad but also wondering how it will turn out in the end.

Jude’s character is interesting because if her upbringing had been different maybe she would be different. There is no way to really tell that though. After witnessing her parents murder and being whisked away to Faerie, she needs to harden herself in order to survive. Mortals are not celebrated in the Fey realm and many don’t appreciate their existence. Jude is not a perfect person and she finds that there is definitely pockets of darkness inside her. She deals with a lot of hating and loving her adoptive father, hating and loving Faerie. A need to belong and find a place and the fact that she can’t deny she is still mortal. There are things that will always be different about her. It was interesting to see her develop and almost find an understanding of herself along the way.

I was fascinated with Cardan because he is pretty much awful but there are moments. Moments that you kind of wonder. He never becomes a Knight or a bad boy with a heart of Gold. Of course not. He lives in this cruel world as well. There were just instances where his actions weren’t as they seemed and as we plunge more into Jude’s story, we see a bit more of his.

Taryn is Jude’s twin sister. They love each other with all their hearts I’m sure. There were many actions that Taryn chooses to take that made me not completely fond of her. If I had to pick of favorite sisters, it would have to be Vivi. Her love of her sisters almost seems the most human despite the mix of her blood. This is what makes these characters so interesting. There are so many good and bad things about them.

The story is full of Faere politics. Which often requires an awful lot of bloodshed. There are three princes. All of them are their own kind of cruel and the princesses, which we don’t get to know as well. The plot involves the coronation of a new High King of Faere and of course it’s no easy process. The courts are full deceit and suspicion. Jude finds herself sucked into all of this, having her adoptive father being the General. Fighting for her own place and life, she finds her ambitions intertwined with others.

The ending made me sad. I can’t say all the ways it made sad because I don’t want to give anything away. I was mostly sad for Jude. This strong, clever and foolish girl all rolled into one.

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner

Title: Unearthed
Author: Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Published January 9th 2018 by Disney-Hyperion

When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. The Undying's advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered.

For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study... as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don't loot everything first. Mia and Jules' different reasons for smuggling themselves onto Gaia put them immediately at odds, but after escaping a dangerous confrontation with other scavvers, they form a fragile alliance.

In order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the tech and information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race's secrets and survive their traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more their presence in the temple seems to be part of a grand design that could spell the end of the human race..

Unearthed is a Sci-fi that takes us on an adventure. I know everyone says it’s like Indiana Jones but I like to relate to Zelda a little bit. If you thirst for adventure, there is plenty of that included, plus great leading characters.

Mia is quite the savvy girl. I think people underestimate her, which is her greatest strength in a way. She’s smart and clever. She knows her way around a situation. She often is saving herself and Jules. I loved her devotion to her sister as well. That she is not motivated by greed.

Jules comes from a very different background than Mia. He hasn’t had to fight for everything he has like she has. I liked him because despite that, he is still kind and I think tries to understand where she is coming from. Despite how he was raised though, he’s waited under the pressure of his family's reputation. He wants to make things right and ultimately protect the Earth.

I loved Mia and Jules and the relationship that slowly brews between them. It starts out that they consider each other a kind of means to an end. They both need something and working together gets them there faster. As they spend time together though they find themselves moving to friends and then something more. They build trust up gradually and managed to find ways past secrets and betrayals. I really like the bond they form and how they get to that point.

The book has a great plot. The attempted exploration of other planets in order to find a new Earth or at least to save Earth. This is because Earth has burned out it’s resources which has caused environmental changes. I think I must always have Breath of the Wild on my brain lately because the Temple they go through on the planet, reminded me of the temples in Zelda games. Which of course I love, so it made it even more exciting. I love that they had to figure out puzzles in order to make it through, it added another element besides just racing against time. Mia of course is like Indiana Jones and Jules is her sidekick. They are not alone on the planet, however, and find themselves also running from villains. All these circumstances are put into motion by The Undying, an alien race, last transmission. Which leads to more questions as they search the surface as to who The Undying actually are and is following their bread crumbs good or bad.

Wow that ending. Wow. So many thoughts.

I really enjoyed Unearthed and can not wait for the next book.