Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Sequels I Want to Read (in 2015)

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week we’re listing our…

Top Ten Sequels I Want to Read (in 2015)

Earlier this week I did a post on the 26 books I want to read coming out in 2015, which featured a ton of sequels. For this list, I'll solely be including the books that have covers released, plus more books that weren't on that particular list! Yay for sequels!

The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6)The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2)The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2)
1. The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead (Book #6 in the Bloodlines series).
Super excited for the final book in the Bloodlines series! What will happen to Mr. & Mrs Ivashkov?!?!
2. The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson (Book #2 in the Remnant Chronicles).
I really enjoyed The Kiss of Deception (link to my review). Obviously I'm not a fan of love triangles, but I'm interested to see what happens next for the characters.
3. The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski (Book #2 in the Winner's Trilogy).
Gah. The cliffhanger at the end of The Winner's Curse killed me. I need this last book now! It seems like it might be even more political than the first book (political in YA means pretty dresses and balls).

Empire of Night (Age of Legends, #2)A Cold Legacy (The Madman's Daughter, #3)
4. Empire of Night by Kelley Armstrong (Book #2 in the Age of Legends series).
I wasn't too big of a fan of the first book, Sea of Shadows (link to my review). But the first book did setup a ton of action for the second book. Interested to see where the story goes from here.
5. A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd (Book #3 in the Madman's Daughter series).
These characters have gone through so much. I need to know how it all ends. Plus this is a re-telling of Frankenstein!!!

Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles, #3)The Heir (The Selection #4)Burning Kingdoms (Internment Chronicles, #2)
6. Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole (Book #3 in Arcana Chronicles).
Answer all my questions, book!
7. The Heir by Kiera Cass (Book #4 in The Selection series).
These books frustrate me to no end, but they're like....toxic candy. I wrote a joke review of the first book using Bachelor gifs...I won't lie, though, I'm a huge reality t.v. fan. And this book sounds like The Bachelorette.................I will read this.
8. Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano (Book #2 in the Internment Chronicles).
The first book was o-kay, but I do love DeStefano's writing style. The ending of the first book was a wtf-moment, so I'm interested to see where the second book picks up.

Please Remain Calm (This Is Not a Test, #2)Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (Prisoner of Night and Fog, #2)
9. Please Remain Calm by Courtney Summers (a novella in the This Is Not a Test series).
I really liked This is not a Test, which I found emotional and terrifying. It made my favorite Horror novels list. I really hope this novella explores what happens to the characters after the events of This is not a Test.
10. Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman (Book #2 in the Prisoner of Night and Fog series).
I really enjoyed the first book in the series (link to my review). I love that this is a historical fiction series, as opposed to a standalone. Excited to see what's next for Gretchen & Daniel!

What sequels are you excited to read??? 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Beautiful Books #2: How's the Writing Going?

The Questions for Round #2: How's The Writing Going?

  1. Be honest: how is your writing going?

    It's....going. Slowly, but surely. At first, I just stuck to writing in order b/c I wanted to fight the compulsion of being the most disorganized person ever, but lately I've been going all over the place....once again. But hey! It adds to the word count, right? And I'd eventually get to those scenes....I'm really behind, but I'm not too discouraged. I will eventually finish--now it's more of a battle to see how many words I can actually write in one month, haha.

  2. What’s your first sentence/paragraph?

    The Myth of my people says only a true bride of the Sea God can bring an end to his insatiable wrath. When the otherworldly storms rise from the East Sea, lightning breaking the sky and waters ripping up the tide, a bride is chosen and given to the Sea God.
    Or sacrificed, depending on your level of faith.
    Every year the storms begin and every year a girl is brought out to sea.
    I can’t help wondering if Shim Cheong believes in the Myth of the Bride of the Sea God, and if she’ll find comfort in it before the end.
    Or the beginning.
    There are many pathways destiny can take.
    For instance, there’s my own path—the literal path before me, stretching narrowly through the waterlogged rice fields. If I follow this path, it’ll eventually lead me to the beach. If I turn around, the path will take me back to the village. Which destiny belongs to me? Which destiny will I grasp onto with both hands?
    Even if it were up to choice, it wouldn’t really be mine. For though a large part of me longs for the safety of home, the pull of my heart is infinitely stronger. It tugs me towards the open sea and to the one person I love beyond destiny.

  3. Do you have a book cover, and/or pictures that reflect your book?

    Ugh. I have a ton of pictures. Questions like this one and the one below are dangerous because it just means I'm about to go on tumblr & pinterest for an hour....::never comes back::

  4. Do you have pictures of each of your characters? If not, describe them for us! (Be as descriptive as you can.)

    I really like these two as Ren & Mina (Nam Joo Hyuk & Soohyun for High Cut Magazine). Or maybe I just ship them in real life... He starred in her MV for the songs 200% and Give Love. Check them out: here and here. They're super adorable. 

  5. What scene are you most excited to write?

    I really like writing (and reading) emotional scenes. Towards the middle to end, when the characters have grown to know each other and love each other, there are going to be some epic emotions. Excited to write those scenes!!!

  6. Share a snippet or a scene that you really enjoyed writing.

    See above? (#2) For every book I've ever written (or short story), the beginning has always been the easiest to write. For some strange/odd reason. Maybe b/c it's just a blank page until it's written? Anything could happen!

  7. Now that you're writing, have any of the plot details, or the process itself, turned out different from what you planned or imagined?

    Hmmm...Each chapter seems to get longer and longer. I'm trying to keep each other chapter 2000 words or less, so I end up cutting up chapters. My second chapter has already been split 3 times, to make 3 chapters instead of 1.

  8. Is there a character or aspect of your plot that's difficult to write?

    The hardest aspect of the novel is to convey the magical aspects in a non-"telling" manner, but also clearly so the reader isn't confused. It's also from a first person perspective of a human girl in a magical world, so I'm trying to have her discover things without it being info-dumping.

  9. What’s your favorite aspect of this novel so far? Favorite character?

    My favorite aspect of the novel is the overall quest of it--the discovery, the adventure. I can't choose a favorite character! They're all my babies!

  10. Have you drawn off of any life experiences or people you know to create your novel and your characters?

    Hmm...do characters from other forms of art count? Like manga or K-dramas? Or books? B/c I've drawn from pretty much everything I've ever read, or seen (or dreamed). As for real life experiences, I've drawn from the emotional standpoint, if not the reality (my book, after all, is a Fantasy). Just kidding, I live in Fantasy-Land.

  11. Do you have a playlist or certain song for your novel and/or characters?

    Oo. Not really a playlist, as of yet. I usually don't listen to music when I'm writing since my brain needs to focus entirely on the words. Although when I'm roughly writing an emotional scene, I like to listen to a song that has that emotion.

    I do like the folksy-ballady quality of this song, as an overall "tone" for the book.

    J-Min's "Hoo"

  12. Let’s have some fun for a moment: imagine you are somehow transported into your book’s world. Which character are you most likely to be found hanging out with?

    Mask, Dai & Miki. They're Mina's spirit guides in the Sea God's realm. They're ridiculous/hilarious, and I'd be hanging out with them, most likely.

  13. How do you keep yourself motivated to finish your daily wordcount? (Pinterest? Internet breaks? Chocolate?)

    COFFEE... COFFEE signals writing for me in my brain.

  14. What your favourite writing quote or piece of writing advice?

    Write what you love & read a ton.

  15. How does this book make you feel so far? Are you laughing? Crying? Frustrated?


Saturday, November 15, 2014

YA Books I'm Dying to Read in 2015 + A-Z Reading Challenge

I spend inordinate amount of hours on goodreads (Be my friend!) looking at upcoming books. It's a problem. One I embrace. There are so many fabulous books coming out in 2015. It makes "the passing of time" bearable...b/c at least I get to read new books (did I mention I have a fear of time?). Anyway. This is going to be a long post, since I'm mentioning 26 books (for all the books on my goodreads 2015 A-Z Reading challenge: see below for details).

The usual draws for me are:

1. An author releasing a new title for an ongoing series.
2. A debut author w/ an intriguing premise & pre-buzz.
3. A non-debut author releasing a new book that sounds right up my alley.

1. Authors' Latest Titles in Ongoing Series.

The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2)Burning Kingdoms (Internment Chronicles, #2)
1. The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski (Book #2 in The Winner's Trilogy)
I loved the first book in this series. It's historical fantasy (no magic), set in a world inspired by ancient Roman civilization, when the Roman Empire had taken over most of the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, borrowing much of its culture from the Greek states they'd conquered and enslaved. Besides the great setting and historical influences, The Winner's Curse has great characters, as well as sizzling chemistry between the leads, the daughter of a powerful general and a slave.

2. Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano (Book #2 in The Internment Chronicles)
I wasn't crazy about the first book in the series, Perfect Ruin, but the wtf-ending makes me very interested in seeing where the story goes from here on out. Plus, DeStefano is a wonderful writer.

Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles, #3)A Cold Legacy (The Madman's Daughter, #3)The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6)
3. Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole (Book #3 in The Arcana Chronicles)
This is, from what I understand, the last book in the series, thank god. Not that I don't like this series, but there are just so many things going on...(it's a post-apocalyptic Southern wonderland w/ zombies, where all the characters are re-incarnated versions of Tarot cards, battling for a final victor & immortality). I want all my questions answered. No more questions! Specifically I want this time-old question answered...who will win out on the love triangle? Jackson or Aric? Ugh. 

4. A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd (Book #3 in The Madman's Daughter series)
I honestly don't know why I like this series so much. Maybe the macabre aspects? The re-telling of classic horror stories? (The Island of Doctor Moreau in the The Madman's Daughter, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Her Dark Curiosity, and Frankenstein in A Cold Legacy). It's set in the 1800's & the gothic overtones are palpable; the whole series seems to take place in darkness.

5. The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead (Book #6 in the Bloodlines series)
It's almost here! I want Adrian & Sydney's happy ending!!! RIGHT NOW! Gah. I love this series more than the Vampire Academy series, which I loved (check out my review of the series: here).

Covers To Be Released
(no cover) 6. The End by Charlie Higson (Book #7 in The Enemy series)
I both dread and NEED this last book. Also, this book's title is literal. IT IS THE END! Please, Favorite Characters, don't die!!!!

(no cover) 7. P. S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han (Book #2 in To All the Boys I've Loved Before series).
I really adored the first book in the series. (I believe it might just be a duology). It gave me all kinds of feels. Check out my review: here. I really liked how introspective the narrator was; her naivete made sense to me, since she was (pretty-much) raised by a strong-willed, overprotective older sister. It also gives her so much room to grow. I also love the Korean influences in the book, since the heroine is half-Korean.
P.S. I love Peter Kavinsky. Excited to see what's next for Peter and Lara Jean!!! I hope the new boy makes Peter WORK for Lara Jean's heart!!!

(no cover) 8. End of Days by Susan Ee (Book #3 in Penryn & the End of Days series)
I'm dying for this book. Check out my mid-series review: here. I am already anticipating all the Raffe & Penryn lovey-dovey scenes since they pretty much admitted their love for each other in the last book, right? Right?? Although there are more books in the series listed on goodreads, Susan Ee stated that this will be the final book in Penryn's story. Maybe the other books are about a different character? Anyway, NEEDED THIS BOOK YESTERDAY!

2. 2015 Debut Authors
I love debut authors. It's the fun of discovering new authors to fangirl over. There's also something so fresh and exciting to read someone's first published book--it's most-likely the book that will define their career in YA (example: ^^ when I think of Megan Shepherd, I think of gothic, dark YA. When I think of Richelle Mead, I think of YA paranormal romance  & well-drawn characters). Plus, all of these books just sound so damn amazing! (I'm using damn as an adverb, the way April Genevieve Tucholke does in The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. When I think of April Genevieve Tucholke, I think of purple prose and the word "damn").

An Ember in the AshesThe Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight, #1)The Witch HunterRed Queen (Red Queen, #1)
1. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Ach. That title! That cover! "...set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world." I just read The Winner's Curse, and I need more historical fantasy!!! Fantasy and Historical Fiction are my two favorite genres...so when they're combined....I die. I'm dead right now. This is water ghost Axie. 

2. Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
This book just sound so unique. To me, it's a wild card, since the concept is so out-there (it's about an Avian race living beneath the streets of New York City), and obviously it's a debut. I'm intrigued to see how the writer pulls it off. People have been likening it to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, so that's a plus.

3. The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker
I did a WoW on this book a couple of months ago. I'm still excited to read it, even more so b/c I'm on a witch kick. The plot is title-explanatory. The heroine is a celebrated witch hunter, until she herself is accused of witchcraft. 

4. The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
I actually wrote a book (my Nano from 2011) that is a lot like this book, at least in concept. The Red Queen takes place in a fantasy world divided by the color of blood (Red & Silver). It's one of those hype books, so hopefully it lives up to the advance praise. Also, Victoria Aveyard has the best author name. Or name, in general.

Under a Painted SkyZeroboxerThe Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)City of Savages
5. Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
I have surreptitiously been following this author's journey on twitter and her blog. She blogged about her querying process (the process of finding an agent to represent your book to sell to publishers), and her agent sold her book to Penguin, which is one of my favorite publishers (they have such great production on their books). Anyway, this book sounds SO amazing. In 1849 Missouri, a Chinese girl and runaway slave disguise themselves as boys, heading for the frontier. Just typing that sentence gave me chills, lol. The idea of this book existing makes me intensely happy. The publisher even stresses that it's a story of friendship. Agh. Give me now, please.

6. Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee
Kat over at Readiculousblog did a WoW on this book a couple of weeks ago. It was pitched as Rocky  meets Gattaca. And the small synopsis on goodreads just sounds so smart and imaginative. Prize fighting in space??? How cool is that? And the narrator is a guy...and I just want it now.

7. The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Shahrzad!!! I once said that Shahrzad was a princess who would never get her own Disney movie because, you guys, her fairy tale is dark. The stories inside One Thousand and One Nights are actually part of a frame narrative which Shahrzad is telling to the king every night. Instead of finishing the story, she always ends in the middle, therefore prolonging her life (the king kills his wives after one night with them). Moving on. I wonder how closely The Wrath & The Dawn will follow the original narrative. Pretty closely, if her name is any indication. And I wonder how the author will redeem Khalid, the murderous boy-king. IN ANY CASE, I must read this book.

8. City of Savages by Lee Kelly
I did a WoW of this book back in June.  This book has the coolest Dystopia/post-War set up, with cities like Manhattan as prisoner of war camps, ruled by overlords. It'll be cool to see what Manhattan looks like in this bleak, but fascinating future. Bonus: City of Savages is being published by Simon & Schuster's new Saga Press.

3. Old Author, New Book
The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen, #1)A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic, #1)The Fill-In BoyfriendA Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)
1. The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
Incarnate (Jodi Meadow's debut) and I didn't really click, but I'm willing to give The Orphan Queen  a read, since it's YA Fantasy, my favorite genre.

2. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
I really like Victoria Schwab's detailed, atmospheric style of writing in her YA novels. I haven't read her adult titles, but A Darker Shade of Magic sounds intriguing, about parallel Londons (Grey London and Red London) and the magician who can travel between them.

3. The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
Kasie West's stand-alone contemporaries are just plain fun, and I've always loved this concept--The Fake Boyfriend, which Jenny Han recently did in To All the Boys I've Loved Before.

4. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
I haven't read Sarah J. Maas (which is crazy, I know, since she's a YA Fantasy heavy-weight. I just couldn't get into her first Throne of Glass book. Although I hear it gets significantly better after book 2). In any case, this new book of hers sounds amazing. It's loosely based off the Ballad of Tam Lin, if the love interest's name (Tamlin) is any indication. Which means there will evil Fae. Love the colors used on the cover.

Court of FivesThe Darkest Part of the ForestThe Return (Titan, #1)
5. Court of Fives by Kate Elliott
I'm calling this now. This will be one of my favorite books next year. I LOVE Kate Elliott's adult fantasy novels, and if she brings all that magic and romance to YA...it'll be incredible (especially since her adult Fantasy novels can get massively long, but YA won't let her do that!!!). She's incredibly imaginative, her writing is flawless, and her characters are lovable-to-the-extreme. I'm thinking of you, Vai!
It doesn't even matter what the book's about, honestly...but the blurb says it takes place in a "...society suffocated by rules of class and privilege." YES. I love social class politics, what can I say.

6. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Hazel and her brother, Ben, find a boy with horns sleeping in a glass coffin in the woods.
Holly Black can do no wrong.

7. The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Jennifer Armentrout's books are like candy. I just gobble them up. This one is a paranormal New Adult romance surrounding Greek mythology.

Covers To Be Released

(no cover) 8. When I Wake by Elizabeth Norris
A sixteen-year old criminal informant goes undercover to take over the current king of organized crime, only to fall in love with the crime lord's heir apparent. <<Everything about that makes me swoon.

(no cover) 9. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
New series by Alexandra Bracken! I haven't finished her Darkest Minds series, yet I'm already anticipating her next series. I'm not the biggest fan of time travel, unless it's way back in time, to like when knights were around, cause then it's like historical fantasy, hahaha. But yeah, I trust Alexandra Bracken.

(no cover) 10. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I just like how it's a girl author-boy author team. I don't know, there's something authentic/intriguing if a boy writes the boy POV and a girl writes the girl POV. It's Battlestar Galactica meets Ten Things I Hate About You. How more awesome can you get?

2015 A-Z Reading Challenge

Every year, the goodreads Crazy for Young Adult Books club puts together the annual A-Z Reading challenge. I fail every year (I go down in flames), but making this list is just too much fun. The rules are this: You make an A-Z list of books you want to read in 2015, with the goal of reading all of them within a year. The A-Z can come from either a word in the title of a book (Like Boyfriend from Kasie West's The Fill-In Boyfriend), or from the author's name (like Mead from Richelle Mead). You can even go so far as to just pick out a letter from a word or name. Like if you have no X, you can use the X from AleXandra, which is what I did (see: below, i.e. AleXandra Bracken). Anyway, the challenge is super fun. I specifically chose books released in 2015, but you can choose to read any books you want!

Ashes. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Boyfriend. The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
Crime. The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
Days. End of Days by Susan Ee

End. The End by Charlie Higson
Fives. Court of Fives by Kate Elliott
Girl. The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
Hunter. The Witch Hunter by Virgina Boecker

Illuminae. Illuminae by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
J. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Kingdoms. Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano
Legacy. A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepard
Mead. The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead

Norris. When I Wake by Elizabeth Norris
Orphan. The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
Part. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Queen. The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Renee. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
SavagesCity of Savages by Lee Kelly
The. The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Under. Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee 
Victoria. A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab
Winter. The Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole
AleXandra. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
You. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
ZeroboxerZeroboxer by Fonda Lee