Thursday, 31 March 2016

Cover Reveal and Excerpt: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

 
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Date of Release: September 2016


Prologue Excerpt:
On the second sabbat of Twelfthmoon, in the city of Weep, a girl fell from the sky.
Her skin was blue, her blood was red.

She broke over an iron gate, crimping it on impact, and there she hung, impossibly arched, graceful as a temple dancer swooning on a lover’s arm. One slick finial anchored her in place. Its point, protruding from her sternum, glittered like a brooch. She fluttered briefly as her ghost shook loose, and then her hands relaxed, shedding fistfuls of freshly picked torch ginger buds.

Later, they would say these had been hummingbird hearts and not blossoms at all.
They would say she hadn’t shed blood but wept it. That she was lewd, tonguing her teeth at them, upside down and dying, that she vomited a serpent that turned to smoke when it hit the ground. They would say a flock of moths had come, frantic, and tried to lift her away.
That was true. Only that.

They hadn’t a prayer, though. The moths were no bigger than the startled mouths of children, and even dozens together could only pluck at the strands of her darkening hair until their wings sagged, sodden with her blood. They were purled away with the blossoms as a grit-choked gust came blasting down the street. The earth heaved underfoot. The sky spun on its axis. A queer brilliance lanced through billowing smoke, and the people of Weep had to squint against it. Blowing grit and hot light and the stink of saltpeter. There had been an explosion. They might have died, all and easily, but only this girl had, shaken from some pocket of the sky.

Her feet were bare, her mouth stained damson. Her pockets were all full of plums. She was young and lovely and surprised and dead.

She was also blue.

Blue as opals, pale blue. Blue as cornflowers, or dragonfly wings, or a spring—not summer—sky.

Someone screamed. The scream drew others. The others screamed, too, not because a girl was dead, but because the girl was blue, and this meant something in the city of Weep. Even after the sky stopped reeling, and the earth settled, and the last fume spluttered from the blast site and dispersed, the screams went on, feeding themselves from voice to voice, a virus of the air.

The blue girl’s ghost gathered itself and perched, bereft, upon the spearpoint-tip of the projecting finial, just an inch above her own still chest. Gasping in shock, she tilted back her invisible head and gazed, mournfully, up.

The screams went on and on.

And across the city, atop a monolithic wedge of seamless, mirror-smooth metal, a statue stirred, as though awakened by the tumult, and slowly lifted its great horned head.
Left: UK Cover, Right: US Cover

Find the author on 

I am a huge fan of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone series so when I saw the email asking if I would be interested in taking part in the cover reveal - I obviously jumped at the chance. I adore both of these covers, it's almost impossible to choose between them and I am worried when the time comes I will wind up buying both (my shelves need to be beautiful!) but there is of course no doubt in my mind that I will be reading this as soon as possible! The prologue has me hooked and I know I can trust Laini Taylor to deliver an amazing book.

Let me know what you think of the covers and the excerpt!

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading

Bookish Siblings Tag

I saw Lauren @ Always Me do this tag and it definitely interested me, the tag was initially created by Caroline @ Just Another Bookish Blog. It definitely helps that I have three amazing siblings to draw from (and that I have sometimes compared them to fictional characters!) but I also wanted to see Ann's picks so I've dragged her into this tag as well!

1) Your Older Brother
Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)Girl Online (Girl Online, #1)
Clare: This was definitely the easiest one. Kaz from Six of Crows. He reminds me of my brother (the oldest of my brothers though not older than me) and he'd make the perfect protective brother.
Ann: Tom from Girl Online he is very similar to my older brother, we argue a lot but when something happens he would protect me no matter what.

2) Your Younger Brother
The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings, #1-3)Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6)
Clare: Peregrine Took, again he reminds me of my other brother and I get such a younger brother vibe from him. He's both cute and someone to be proud of.
Ann: I feel like my younger brother would be the male version of Luna Lovegood. 

3) Your Sister
Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)
Clare: Cinder. Cinder was actually my nickname for Ann since long before the book came out because she is so Cinderella-like. And it's actually even more true with the Cinder from the book who is a tad more badass than the original.
Ann: Cress. Who is a lot like Clare. We both are like a character from The Lunar Chronicles. 

4) The Popular One
The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
Clare: Shahrzad from The Wrath & The Dawn, I just feel like everyone loves her.
Ann: Isabelle. I just think she would be the popular one.

5) Parent's Favourite
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
Clare: Hermione. She's kind, she's clever, she's beautiful, what's not to love?
Ann: Jace. He's strong and would protect anyone. He would definitely be my parents favourite.

6) The Little Rebel
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)
Clare: Katniss. Definitely a rebel!
Ann: Caelena. She's most definitely a rebel.

7) Your Twin
Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
Clare: Cress from the Lunar Chronicles.
Ann: I am going for Isabelle from the Mortal Instruments.

8) The One You Can't Stand
Twilight (Twilight, #1)The Last Little Blue Envelope (Little Blue Envelope, #2)
Clare: Bella from Twilight. I have such an odd relationship with them - constant eye rolling mixed with an odd fondness. And that's kind of how I feel about Bella, she annoys me but I am oddly fond of her. 
Ann: Keith from the last little blue envelope. He was just so annoying.

9) The One You Could Prank the World With
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)
Clare: I hate to choose the same as I am pretty sure everyone else who does this tag - but it has to be Fred and George. It just has to be. 
Ann: I have to agree with Clare on this one there is no one better to prank with than Fred and George.

10) The Shy Introvert
Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)Girl Online (Girl Online, #1)
Clare: Me and Cress obviously!
Ann: I struggled with this one but decided to go for Penny from Girl Online.

11) Your Ultimate Book Sibling
What Katy Did (Carr Family, #1)Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)
Clare: Katy from the What Katy Did series - it's the single most influential book on my behaviour. I've tried to be a sister like Katy ever since I read it so I'd love to have her as my sibling.
Ann: My ultimate book sibling would be Hermione, she is awesome. If I didn't have Clare I would want the second best thing which would be Hermione.

12) Your Blogging Sibling
Girl Online (Girl Online, #1)
Clare: It's a cheat but Ann! My co-blogger and real life sister. 
Ann: I am not going to cheat like Clare so I am going to say Penny from Girl Online.


You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Wednesday Catch-Up 30th March 2016

Every Wednesday we are linking up with WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is hosted at Taking on a World of Words and asks 3 questions: What are you currently reading?, What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you'll read next? 

Clare:

Currently Reading:
Spy's Honor (Hearts and Thrones, #2)The Warden
I have just started Spy's Honor by Amy Raby which didn't immediately grab me as much as the first in the series did but I think I am going to enjoy it. I am nearly finished with The Warden by Anthony Trollope and will probably be finished either today or tomorrow. I've really enjoyed this book - it's a lot more interesting than its premise would suggest.

Recently Finished:
Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2)Assassin's Gambit (Hearts and Thrones, #1)
I've had quite a slow reading week this week, mostly because of Red Queen and Glass Sword which I found I didn't enjoy as much as I had hoped I would. I found them to be too similar to other YA books and I just didn't like any of the main characters. Since I was feeling on the verge of a reading slump I then decided to read Assassin's Gambit by Amy Raby which I hoped would be a light read. It was somewhat more fantasy and politics oriented than I had expected but I did enjoy it and I loved the main character.

Planning to Read Next:
Prince's Fire (Hearts and Thrones, #3)Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys & Bridgertons, #1)The Girl in 6E (Deanna Madden, #1)
Next I am planning on reading Prince's Fire which is the third book in the Hearts and Thrones series and I am looking forward to that. And then I definitely want to read Because of Miss Bridgerton which arrived yesterday - I have loved all of Julia Quinn's books. They are definitely on the light and fun side and usually have great characters and humour. I am very curious about The Girl in 6E because although I've seen it around a lot I haven't heard much about it so I am not sure what to expect but I am hopeful.


You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Top Ten Books We Read in March

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke & the Bookish and you can check it out here if you would like to take part!

1) The Steep & Thorny Way by Cat Winters
The Steep & Thorny Way
Clare: This book blew me away. It was everything I had wanted it to be and more.

2) Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1)
Clare: I was both nervous and excited for this but Cassandra Clare did it again and wrote a book I loved from cover to cover.
Ann: I loved everything about this book.

3) The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire, #1)
Clare: I have a full review up for this one, it was great. I always love retellings but this was fairly ruthless.

4) These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas
These Vicious Masks (These Vicious Masks, #1)
Clare: This was everything I expected a book described as Jane Austen meets X-Men would be and I loved it.
Ann: Could have read it in one sitting if it wasn't for pesky things like school and eating.

5) Grace and Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It by Grace Helbig
Grace & Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It
Clare: A little different from my usual reads but I sped through this it was a lot of fun.

6) Starflight by Melissa Landers
Starflight (Starflight, #1)
Clare: This was a little slow to start but once the pace picked up I loved every second. This was another one that was just a lot of fun.

7) Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
Princess of Thorns
Clare: Another retelling, this time a sort of sequel to Sleeping Beauty. The main characters did so many stupid things but I loved them anyway.

8) Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Passenger (Passenger, #1)
Clare: This book was a bit over-hyped for me but I still really enjoyed it. And I am definitely excited for the sequel.
Ann: Overall I loved this, and the cover is so, so pretty.

9) Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)
Ann: Good retelling of a classic story with a twist. I get why Clare has been pestering me to read this series.

10) Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School by Kim Newman
The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School
Clare: I enjoyed this a lot more than I even expected to.
Ann: I loved the characters and the descriptions of the creepy things. 


You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Sunday Post 27th March 2016

The Sunday Post STSmall_thumb[2]
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, it's a chance to post a recap on the past week, show the books we have received and share what we plan for the coming week. Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and the aim is to show our newest books and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops or downloaded on to their e-reader. As always you can click on any of the pictures to be taken to the Goodreads page for that book if you're interested in finding out more about it.

Last Week on the Blog:

Books We Got This Week:
Assassin's Gambit (Hearts and Thrones, #1)Spy's Honor (Hearts and Thrones, #2)Prince's Fire (Hearts and Thrones, #3)
Assassin's Gambit/Spy's Honor/Prince's Fire by Amy Raby: I don't really know what to expect from these but they look light and fun and I feel like I kind of want that right now. Plus - assassins and spies? Yes please.
The Girl in 6E (Deanna Madden, #1)The Versions of UsBook of Lies
The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre: I feel like I've been seeing this everywhere lately. Again, no idea what to expect but I am intrigued. 
The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett: I wasn't sure if I was going to read this book because I am often easily confused by the whole multiple timeline thing but I wanted to give it a go and see if I like it.
Book of Lies by Teri Terry: We are both very excited for this one.


Reading Update:
Ann:
The Last Little Blue Envelope (Little Blue Envelope, #2)When It Happens
The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson: 4 stars, Good book, I loved the characters in it apart from Keith who I really did not like.
When It Happens by Susanne Colasanti:  4 stars, good book but not really my typical book. Very easy to tell what is going to happen.

Clare:
Princess of ThornsThe Shadow Queen (Ravenspire, #1)Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)
Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay: 4 stars, I really enjoyed this, there were plenty of times where I had no idea how anything would be resolved but I had faith in the characters. I loved Aurora and Niklaas even if they kept making the same mistakes and not telling each other the whole truth. I also really liked Jor as a character and the Queen was very interesting.
The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine: 4.5 stars, I actually really loved this, I have a full review for this posted here if you want to check out my thoughts.
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: 3 stars, I thought this got good towards the end but I did think it was a bit too much like other YA's I've read and I wanted a bit more originality.



Next Week on the Blog:
  • Bookish Siblings Tag
  • Top Ten Books I Read in March
  • Wednesday Catch-Up
  • Top Five Least Favourite Books in Your Favourite Series
  • Friday Reads

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading
 
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