Final Girls by Riley Sager (★★★★☆½)
A decade ago, Quincy Carpenter became a final girl, the sole survivor of a horror movie-esque massacre. Struggling to move past the title, Quincy is dragged back into the spotlight when one of her fellow final girls is found dead. Deemed “the first great thriller of 2017” by Stephen King, Riley Sager’s Final Girls is a suspenseful thrill ride that will have you guessing* until the very end.
love, and you by Gretchen Gomez (★★★☆☆½)
Much like Milk and Honey, I didn’t find love, and you nearly as fulfilling as The Princess Saves Herself in This One — both of which were recommended based on my fondness for Amanda Lovelace’s poetry. However, much like with the work of Rupi Kaur, Gomez has some really great and touching pieces toward the end of her collection.
Lord Henry Montague (AKA Monty) is a fashionable rake about to embark on a Grand Tour of Europe alongside his best friend and the secret love of his life, Percy. It’s the 18th century road trip novel you never knew you wanted! While I greatly enjoyed Monty’s hijinks and his slow-burn romance with Percy, I was a little thrown by the strange, almost supernatural turn the story took.
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Welcome to the June episode of the Spines With Wines live book club, because sometimes you get in reading slumps beyond your control.
Spines With Wines is made up of myself (Cassie-la) and book blogger/BookTuber Kristin Hackett and centers around talking about a previously chosen book while drinking wine. Just like a real book club … except it’s virtual and everyone actually reads the book.
This time around we discussed the most recent Shadowhunter novel/the second book in The Dark Artifices series at length: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare!
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The dynamic writing duo known collectively a Erin Watt are back with another poor girl falls in love with rich guy romance. This time around, 17-year-old Vaughan Bennett is forced to save her struggling family by pretending to be the girlfriend of famous pop star Oakley Ford (a Justin Bieber type). Will their fake love turn into real love? Don’t be stupid, of course it will.
Shenanigans abound in this short story set during the tail end of Cassandra Clare’s Lady Midnight. Watch as all your fan favorites act totally out of character and do incredibly rude things like propose during someone else’s engagement party. While not a necessary read, this short story does bridge the gap between events in Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows, so at least there’s that.
Set in a world where murder is commonplace and gods are real, Sarah Ahiers debut novel starts off incredibly strong, but the world building goes a bit too far when literal ghosts are introduced. Not to mention that horse named Butters. While I ultimately enjoyed the story and any non-ghostly world building, the novel was too uneven for my tastes.
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The Maiden Poodle: A Fairy Tail by S.G. Browne
Format: Galley provided by the author
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Genre: Fiction, fantasy, fairy tale, children’s, humor, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Summary: Once upon a time — that time being now — the kingdom of Felinia was taken over by the nefarious King Griffen, an anthropomorphic cat who spends all his time in bed. Determined to free Felinia from his evil clutches is a group of dogs set on deposing the king and restoring the just Prince Atticus to the throne, all while freeing the Maiden Poodle, a renowned sorceress and revolutionary from the castle dungeons.
Author S.G. Browne’s adult novels are known for their intriguing premises and biting satire, but his latest story is a complete departure from all that.
Written for children, and children at heart, Browne’s independently published novella is set in the fictional kindgom of Felinia, where once upon a time royal cats and peasant dogs lived together in harmony.
That all changed however when the evil King Griffen stole the throne from his Uncle, relegating dogs to a life of servitude and stale kibble. Now it’s up to a group of rebellious pooches to dethrone King Griffen and restore order to Felinia — if they can stop chasing the mailman long enough to do it.
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Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld (★★★★☆)
The first trade in a new graphic novel series by young adult author Scott Westerfeld takes place after a series of localized disasters around the globe bends reality itself. Full of terrifying and incredibly imaginative monsters, so-called Spill Zones around the world have turned former idyllic towns into nightmarish landscapes. Intriguingly plotted and beautifully colored, my only complaint is how quickly I devoured this.
Even though it was just as beautifully written as its predecessor, I had a lot of trouble getting into the second book in The Raven Cycle. Despite the extremely slow start however, The Dream Thieves ended up containing my favorite new character — the enigmatic Mr. Gray — and cemented my new favorite Raven Boy: Ronan. Just as predicted.
I didn’t know what to expect going into the soon-to-be adapted I Kill Giants, but I certainly didn’t anticipate being a crying mess by the end. While the graphic novel started off confusing, frustrating and a little too on the juvenile side for my tastes, I was blown away and incredibly touched by the final reveal. Get your hankies ready, because this one takes a hard left turn!
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Welcome to the definitely earlier than normal May episode of the Spines With Wines live book club, because we couldn’t wait an entire month to discuss our latest book.
Spines With Wines is made up of myself (Cassie-la), book blogger/BookTuber Kristin Hackett and illustrator Melissa Kay and involves talking about a previously chosen book while drinking wine. It’s basically your typical book club, but on the internet.
This time, we gushed over the final book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas!
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My favorite book of 2016 was an even better re-read! Tackled in preparation for A Court of Wings and Ruin (more on that below), I also used April to finally check out the Nesta/Cassian short story Wings and Embers, which was good but not ACOMAF good. Let’s be honest though, is anything ACOMAF good? [READ FULL REVIEW] [WATCH BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION]
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour (★★★★☆½)
My first book by Nina LaCour, We Are Okay was the perfect story to get me out of my post ACOMAF reading slump. An intimate and honest look at grief, We Are Okay bounces between Marin’s life pre and post-tragedy, and the family who is desperately trying to make her feel whole again. Get your hankies out, because this slice of life contemporary novel will give you all the feels.
Literally by Lucy Keating (★★★☆☆)
Lucy Keating’s sophomore novel may have the exact same premise as Stranger Than Fiction, but trust me, it’s no Stranger Than Fiction. The story revolves around Annabelle, a teenager with a perfect life who realizes she’s trapped inside a novel written by author Lucy Keating. It could work, but it doesn’t. Super contrived and over the top, there’s nothing worse than Lucy Keating writing about how great Lucy Keating is.
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